Should the law be changed on naming and shaming the accused?

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Sir Cliff Richard has admitted he feels “tarnished” following two years of “trauma”, after the CPS dropped the case against him last week.

The CPS decided that there was insufficient evidence to make charges.

He has suffered for over 22 months, whilst an investigation has taken place for child sex allegations, and this gross invasion of privacy has taken a toll on his health.

He now plans to campaign for a change in the law for those accused. ‘If we can change a little factor like making sure people like me, Paul [Gambaccini], Jimmy Tarbuck and everyone else don’t get named unless charged, that would make all that I’ve been through almost worthwhile.’

He believes the law must be changed to protect the identity of those accused of sex crimes, as well as their victims, other than in exceptional circumstances, and believes that they should have their anonymity kept until charged.

Cliff, of course, is not the first celebrity to have had their reputation unjustly dragged through the mud — being named and shamed in public even before a decision on any prosecution has been made.

What are your views? Do you think the law should be changed for those accused? Should their anonymity be kept until charged?

Should the law be changed on naming and shaming the accused?

307 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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major red
23rd Sep 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
wish I could help cliff in getting justice and the law changed love to meet him
major red
23rd Sep 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
I feel sorry for sir cliff I'm sure he good and if not wait till its proven not name before tried what's happen to innocent till proven guilty
Sammons
16th Sep 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
It is not fair should get the facts before making accusations, and there should be a time limit, I do feel for the people that are genuinely affected by abuse, but the money spent on investigations, could be better spent.
Capricorn
10th Aug 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
If a homosexual is in a relationship with an adult, I see no reason for him to be named and shamed . It is if he preys on youngsters that he should be outed.
Julie
6th Aug 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
It is very dangerous to name an accused without confirmation of guilt. Before trial by media anyone accused of a crime was presumed innocent until proved guilty. Now it guilt is presumed until innocence is proved
davitts dame
21st Jul 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
AMAZING THAT JIMMY SAVILE HAD THE POLICE AROUND FOR DRINKS NOBODY EVER HEARD A BAD WORD ABOUT HIM. YET, SIR CLIFF HAD HIS HOUSE ENTERED AND HELICOPTERS FLYING OVER HIS PROPERTY ALL WITH THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE BBC. I NEVER BELIEVED THE STORY LIKE THOUSANDS OF OTHER PEOPLE. BUT EVEN IF IT WAS TRUE WHO IS JUDGED BY THE PRESS ETC., WITHOUT A TRIAL. I THINK THERE SHOULD BE SOME JUSTICE AND THE BBC AND THE PRESS MUST BE MADE TO PAY UP FOR THE EVIL ILLEGAL RAID ON HIS HOME WHILST HE WAS IN PORTUGAL AND THE NEWS WRITTEN IN SUCH A WAY AS TO ALMOST SAY HE WAS GUILTY. THE BBC IS THE LAST PLACE TO GET THE TRUTH IN FACT SAVILLE WAS A VERY TRUSTED EMPLOYEE AND NOT ONE BBC DIRECTOR LISTENED TO THE GOSSIP WHICH ALSO INCLUDED THE YORKSHIRE POLICE WHO WERE CLOSE BUDDIES WITH SAVILLE. IN MY OPINION THERE WERE BBC HIGH UPS WHO KNEW WHAT A PERVERT HE WAS AND IF NOT THEMSELVES INVOLVED WITH HIM THEN TURNED A BLIND EYE AS HE WAS MAKING THEM POTS OF MONEY WITH HIS "FAMILY" ENTERTAINMENT SHOWS". I WISH CLIFF THE VERY BEST OF HAPPINESS AND HOPE HE CAN NOW ENJOY HIS LIFE AFTER THE EVIL NIGHTMARE HE HAS BEEN PUT THROUGH FOR OVER TWO YEARS.SHAME ON THE PEOPLE WHO TRIED TO DESTROY HIS CAREER AND HIS HEALTH,
adnil13
29th Jun 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
The law says we are innocent until proven guilty. Naming someone before they have been charged is not right.
JuneD
23rd Jun 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
Innocent until PROVED guilty, its that simple! Defamation of character is a terrible thing , the media whip up these stories and people judge on what they read.
caljim
23rd Jun 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Our justice system is based on an innocent until proven guilty approach, but when someone is accused of a crime of this type, they are effectively branded immediately news of this is broken. How can this be fair? More than a few people have gone through hell for considerable periods of time, had their lives ruined, when they have done nothing wrong. I also have not heard of anyone who has made false accusations being prosecuted? Its All wrong. If a person is guilty they will face the consequences once this is proven, but the innocent must be protected.
Baxi
23rd Jun 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Look at Ched Evans. His life and career have been ruined. After four years, jail and his reputation being dragged through the mud he has finally got another job. Things would have been very different if his name had been kept out of the papers. I think Sir Cliff's decision to start a campaign is great.
Pam1960
26th Jun 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
The way Ched Evans has been treated is abominable. Even now when he has had the verdict quashed and is waiting for the retrial Chesterfield are being put under pressure to sack him from fans and supporters. Innocent until proven guilty. I agree both the accused and accuser should have the right to anonymity. This in a way also relates to the previous top concerning the death penalty. There are too many miscarriages of justice to bring this back. With Sir Cliff Richard and other 70s celebrities there was no reason for anyone to be named until charged and found guilty. The police have a very time consuming task gathering evidence this can drag on for a couple of years. If they cannot find enough evidence there is no case. We cannot continually persecute people in the basis of no smoke without fire. As in wrong convictions where the innocent have been found guilty there are also cases where the guilty are found innocent. Overall our justice system works and we have to accept verdicts. The media are responsible for ruining many lives based on people's desire to know the ins and outs of celebrity lives. It's all very sad. We should also be looking at privacy laws.
lizfid3
23rd Jun 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
If the accuser has the right to anonimity then so does the accused. Innocent until proven guilty the rule of law so let's have a level playing field. Either that or splash the faces of the accusers across the media too.
celtwitch
22nd Jun 2016
-3
Thanks for voting!
I think that the fundamental question is, 'why would an adult make accusations of this nature when they know that they will have to go to court and be identified?'
jeanmark
23rd Jun 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Malicious intent? Such people tend to pick on those in the limelight, they don't necessarily care if they end up in court.
Wilf
22nd Jun 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Yes it just doesn't make sense currently. Just a wiff of an accusation can ruin a persons life. If we are all "innocent until proven guilty" in the UK why on earth would we name anyone at all especially in these days with mass media and the internet which means in hours the whole world knows
viv27
22nd Jun 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Innocent till proven guilty
ceb
22nd Jun 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
He was treated so badly and there definitely needs to be an enquiry into police treatment.
I thought we were innocent until proven guilty in this country - doesn't seem to work that way any more.
thefilthycripple
22nd Jun 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
The treatment of Cliff Richard has been appalling .South Yorkshire police are totally incompetent ,it took 2 years to not believe the accusations of a "blackmailer " and a "serial rapist " ,they shpild be put in special measures like a failing health trust . The neo Comminist BBC. Should be fined 1 year's licence fee income .
Barbara58
27th Jun 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Could you change your name please, the one you're using is horrid!
thefilthycripple
22nd Jun 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
South Yorkshire police currently have their Chief Constable suspended over his handling of the Hillsborough inquest and were the same force ,who failed children in Rotherham . So I am entitled to question their competence .
jeanmark
22nd Jun 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
I don't agree with how he was treated or approve of the way the whole thing kicked off but thefilthycripple, you have obviously never been involved in a complex investigation so please don't accuse the police of being incompetent until you have an understanding of how difficult such issues can be to investigate. We don't have all the facts of the case and things are rarely as simple as they appear.
celtwitch
22nd Jun 2016
-5
Thanks for voting!
Cliff Richards has been let off the hook because there is 'insufficient evidence' to proceed with his prosecution. 'Insufficient evidence' means that there is not enough evidence, it does not mean that he is innocent.
The gender of his accuser is not given, I suspect it is a male.
Barbara58
27th Jun 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
You just get worse C.W - making an assumption that Sir Cliff is gay.
Well my dear, HE IS NOT!
Wilf
22nd Jun 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
How do you know what the gender is Celtwitch? Innocent until proven guilty surely that is the bedrock of this great country?
Alicia
22nd Jun 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
There is NO evidence as he is innocent.
Marley444
22nd Jun 2016
8
Thanks for voting!
And your reply Celtwitch is exactly why the accused should not be named unless charged and found guilty ... the 'insufficient evidence' verdict now leaves him tarnished which is very unfair and unjust!
jeanmark
22nd Jun 2016
8
Thanks for voting!
And neither does it mean he is guilty and why should the gender of the accuser be relevant? I thought the question for this debate was should the accused, regardless of who they are, be publicly named before all evidence has been gathered to try and establish guilt. I am assuming Sir Richard was used as an example as it is very recent and he is talking about taking legal action.
deffay
22nd Jun 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
I do wonder how many people fantasise about famous people, and over the years actually believe their own 'stories'. To accuse somebody and ruin their reputation is totally wrong. And to run a media campaign based on unproven 'evidence' is even more wrong. I hope in this current case that Sir R. does sue the Beeb.
jeanmark
22nd Jun 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
I agree with Marley444 particularly when related to possible sex crimes. There will always be those who quote 'no smoke without fire' and believe the news media. Victims are rightly protected and the same should apply to people being accused until there is sound evidence that proves guilt. There will always be very exceptional cases but they do not tend to be the rule.
Marley444
22nd Jun 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
I do think the law needs to be reviewed. What happened to 'innocent until proved guilty'? It is a very sensitive topic. I do feel desperately sorry for Sir Cliff as a result of how this was handled in the media 🙁 especially by the BBC!

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