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by Jenni Davidson
07 April 2021
Scottish Greens commit to giving victims of sexual offences legal right to anonymity

Patrick Harvie - Image credit: Parliament TV

Scottish Greens commit to giving victims of sexual offences legal right to anonymity

The Scottish Greens have committed to giving victims of rape and other sexual offences a legal right to anonymity under Scots law.

Unlike in the rest of the UK, there is no legal ban on identifying victims in sexual offence cases in Scotland.

Instead, there is a code of conduct followed by mainstream media outlets that they will not do so.

The court may also set legal restrictions on identifying complainers on a case by case basis.

However, the Greens want to put a blanket ban in place under law, as there is in other parts of the UK.

The party has also said it wants to make legal aid available to all domestic abuse victims in civil cases.

Under the current system, victims of domestic abuse are given additional measures of support in criminal cases, but women and children who experience domestic abuse may not be eligible for legal aid in civil cases.

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “The Scottish Greens believe victims of sexual violence must be given the legal right to anonymity.

“We don't believe the current setup, where publishers adhere to a voluntary code, is suitable for the digital age.

He added: “Far too many women and children experiencing domestic abuse in Scotland lack access to justice because they are not eligible for civil legal aid.

“This needs to change so that women who experience violence at home can get the legal help they need, when they need it.

“Recent improvements in the law around domestic abuse are a big step forward for Scotland, but there is still more to do to protect women who have faced harassment or abuse.”

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