Open justice and anonymity for the accused

The publication of an accused person’s identity before conviction arguably violates the substance of the presumption of innocence. The law should not turn a blind eye to the serious consequences of conviction in the eyes of the public: shame, stigma and loss of business or livelihood.

Open justice is satisfied by publication of the accused’s name after conviction, say the writers. PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

In The Straits Times recently, assistant news editor Toh Yong Chuan wrote about the need to balance open justice with victim protection. There is a third, vital interest to consider - the accused's.

The principle of open justice must be balanced against another foundational principle of our legal system, the presumption of innocence.

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