The Enforcement of Secrecy

Joseph Jaconelli

in Open Justice: A Critique of the Public Trial

Published in print July 2002 | ISBN: 9780198252580
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681387 | DOI:
The Enforcement of Secrecy

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The subject matter of this chapter is the various methods whereby trial proceedings may be held in secret. The means that are available fall into two categories. The one functions by way of interposing physical obstacles in the way of access to the courtroom. It is typified by the hearing of the trial in camera. The other category comprises restraints which are normative in nature. This chapter also pursues the issues that have a bearing on the validity of proceedings that have improperly been held in private. Furthermore, attention is devoted to the two principal modes of conducting hearings in secret which are permitted by law. This chapter then considers aspects of English law which have been used to enforce courtroom secrecy. The use of screens in order to avoid witness/accused facial confrontation raises issues similar to the deployment of live television links, which are also explored in this chapter.

Keywords: trial proceedings; trial in camera; English law; courtroom secrecy; television links

Chapter.  26189 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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