Tuesday 11 August 2009

Guardian: 'Right to name Connelly and Barker'

The Guardian says in its main editorial today that although "little good ever comes out of a vengeful mob" it was right for Mr. Justice Coleridge to lift the anonymity order stopping the media naming Baby Peter Connelly's mother and stepfather.
It argues: "There will be risks throughout her [Tracey Connelly's] remaining time in jail, and on release she may need to be granted the right to conceal her old identity. Then there is the question of innocent relations, some of them children, who could end up paying an unjust price for guilt by association.
"All of this no doubt caused Mr Justice Coleridge to hesitate before he ruled that the identities could be published. Yet in the end he said the names must come out – and was right to do so.
"While powerful, the arguments for keeping Connelly and Barker behind a veil of anonymity would apply to most serious crimes. Where is the notorious perpetrator whose conviction did not attract dangerous enemies or bring shame upon the family? The right to free expression and public confidence in criminal justice – confidence inspired by openness – are two important general principles that can be over-ridden only in truly exceptional cases, and it is not obvious that this is one."

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