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Criminal Evidence (Witness Anonymity) Act 2008

Commentary on Sections

Section 14: Expiry of power to make witness anonymity orders

53.The Justice Secretary gave an undertaking in his oral statement to the House of Commons on 26 June 2008 (Hansard: Vol. 478, Column 516), that the provisions of the Act would be subsumed within next session’s Law Reform, Victims and Witnesses Bill, allowing for further and fuller debate on the Act’s provisions. Section 14 provides that the power to make witness anonymity orders will cease to have effect on 31 December 2009, unless extended by order.

54.Subsection (3) contains an order-making power that would allow the Secretary of State to extend the life of the power to make witness anonymity orders by no more than a year at a time; this is a precaution in case for any reason the Law Reform, Victims and Witnesses Bill had not come into force by the expiry date. Any such order would be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure (see subsection (5)).

55.Subsection (4) ensures that where a witness anonymity order has been made before the relevant date, it will continue to have effect after that date.

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