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Justice (Sexual Offences and Trafficking Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Section 9: Disapplication of anonymity of victim after death

This section amends the 1992 Act by inserting new sections 3A (Disapplication of section 1 after victim’s death) and 3B (Rules of Court). Section 3A(2) provides for interested parties to make application to the court for an order dis-applying or modifying the reporting restrictions under amended section 1 of the 1992 Act as they apply to the prohibition of reporting anything that would lead to the identification of a victim for 25 years after their death.

Section 3A(4) clarifies that any order of the court to modify the reporting restrictions can reduce or increase the 25 year period.

Under section 3A(4) an ‘interested party’ means a family member or a personal representative of the deceased victim, or a person interested in publishing matters relating to the deceased victim. Sections 3A(8) and 3A(9) further define ‘family member’.

Section 3A(5) places a duty on the court to make an order where an application has been made and where it is in the interests of justice or the public interest to do so. Under section 3A(6), any order made can be subsequently varied or revoked by the court on an application by an interested party, where the court is satisfied that the same tests are met.

New section 3B makes express provision for the making of Court Rules relating to the process of making applications to the court to dis-apply or modify reporting restrictions and the consideration of these applications by the court.

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