HC Deb 05 May 1999 vol 330 cc368-9W
Mr. Steinberg

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will assess the(a) benefits and (b) disadvantages of granting anonymity to defendants in actions for (i) rape and (ii) other sexual offences. [82856]

Mr. Boateng

The Government have no plans to review this area of the law, which reflects the position that, in accordance with the principles of open justice, the press should be able to report the identity of all defendants. By virtue of their right to control proceedings in court, judges have an inherent power to impose reporting restrictions in exceptional circumstances where there is good reason and it is in the interests of justice.