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Criminal Evidence (Witness Anonymity) Act 2008

Commentary on Sections

Section 5:  Relevant considerations

39.Subsection (1) requires the court to have regard to the list of considerations in subsection (2) when deciding whether to make an order. Under subsection (1)(b), the court must also have regard to any other factors it considers relevant, so it has a broad discretion to take a wide range of factors into account.

40.Subsection (2) sets out some considerations to which the court must turn its mind before reaching a decision to make an anonymity order. These cover the defendant’s general right to know the identity of a witness, the extent to which credibility is relevant, whether the witness’s evidence might be the sole or decisive evidence, whether the witness’s evidence can be properly tested, whether the witness has a tendency or any motive to be dishonest. The court is also required to consider whether alternative means could be used to protect the witness’s identity.

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