Seems fair enough

A father who faces being restricted from seeing his daughter after an unidentified woman made sexual abuse claims against him has won the right to be told the name of his accuser.

Three Court of Appeal judges also said social workers must disclose the identity of the woman despite her refusal to be named.

The man, who is Australian, has so far also been denied any details of the claims against him, making it almost impossible for him to fight them.

He vociferously denies sexually abusing \”anybody\”.

In what was acknowledged as a “highly unusual” situation, a High Court judge ruled earlier this year that the woman’s identity could not be disclosed because she suffered mental and physical problems which were \”towards the top end of the spectrum\”.

It\’s possible to describe this two ways.

1) Woman so harmed by sexual abuse struggles to prevent this from happening to another. Bravely identifies her abuser. Her identity is protected to protect her fragile state.

2) Known nutter makes allegation. No one to know what it is, who she is, making it entirely impossible to prove allegations or to defend against them.

It seems the lower court and the social workers went with 1). The higher court with 2).

As it should be of course: any and everyone has a right to know the allegations, the person making them, so that they can be defended against.

14 thoughts on “Seems fair enough”

  1. There is a middle ground. He’s denied access to “any details”?

    If there were details about where and when the abuse was alleged to have happened, those could be released – allowing him some attempt at assembling alibi evidence, without identifying the victim.

    Of course, if the victim was sufficiently close to him that date / time details would positively identify her, then you might presume (possibly incorrectly) that he knows her well enough to guess who she is.

  2. 2)

    If you are accused, you have the right to confront your accuser. No exception for abuse, or anything else.

    It’s that simple.

    (And if you don’t believe me, I’ll accuse YOU.)

  3. The right to face your accuser, as codified by the US, is normally restricted to criminal trials.

    I nevertheless agree, though. How the fuck the original High Court judge came down against the father, I don’t know. And this just makes me really really hate social workers even more.

  4. Surely, if he were the abuser, he’d know who’d made the allegation? Or at least be able to narrow it down a bit?

  5. Brian, follower of Deornoth

    @jdar5039, aren’t you assuming what is required to be proved, namely that there was any abuse in the first place?

  6. OK jdar5039, lets assume he did abuse mystery woman X. As you point out, presumably he won’t have forgotten it, so he’ll know, when accused by an unnamed person, who that person is. Unless he’s abused loads of course, in which case he might not know which of several was making the accusation. But either way, identifying his accuser, if he’s guilty, isn’t going to change the facts – he knows who he abused.

    If on the other hand he’s not guilty, and its a random nutter shooting her mouth off, not informing him who is the accuser is going to hamstring him a bit on the defending himself from the allegations bit.

    So logic alone (ignoring the natural justice aspects which are of course paramount) dictates that keeping the accusers identity secret is pointless. It doesn’t make any odds if the accusation is correct, but creates a miscarriage of justice if the accusation is false.

  7. The British Social Services have a pretty clear field to do as they like. Many, many high profile instances of failure on their part to protect known risks have resulted in more and more power and secrecy being heaped upon them. The judiciary goes along with it as they don’t want to be blamed if thing go Pete Tong in any particular case. If things do go wrong, but in the ‘wrong way’, and there’s a miscarriage of justice, as this case may be, then they rely on the secrecy to sweep it under the carpet. C Booker rants on about it, not without cause, I would hazard.

  8. If on the other hand he’s not guilty, and its a random nutter shooting her mouth off, not informing him who is the accuser is going to hamstring him a bit on the defending himself from the allegations bit.

    Question – if he does find out somehow (friends of friends, maybe) and then accidentally lets slip that he does know, is that considered incriminating?

  9. Rub-a-dub – “I particularly love the mention of him being Australian. Is that code for something?”

    Probably guilty?

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