Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The ordeal suffered by Millie Dowler's family was, without a shadow of a doubt, appalling. I would not wish it on anyone.  They have my sympathy.

That does not mean, however, that I think we should be changing our system of justice.  It is easy to blame the defence lawyer who asked the questions.  It is easy to blame the Judge who did not stop him.  Very easy.  Too easy, in fact.  I have had a lingering feeling that the public discussion of this case was somehow very wrong, but the Beneath the Wig blog put it into words better than I have managed so far.  Go and read it; it is worth the time.

Wiggy's summary hit the nail on the head, I feel:
By all means, put reporting restrictions on trial. Put the press on trial; but don’t put justice on trial. Those details could have stayed inside that court room, where, it could be said, they belonged. But the very press who are calling for the barrister’s head on a platter and a noose around the justice system’s neck, are the very press who disseminated that information in all its gory detail for public consumption. There is such a thing as restraint. But restraint should never be forced on the team responsible for ensuring a proper, robust defence is run. Justice demands that. (my emphasis)
(Hat Tip to Tom Paine)

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