Current laws on defamation are being renewed to take social media into account, after a recent arrest of a 16-year-old boy, who was charged with rape and murder to a young school-girl.
On the arrest of the case, Scotland’s Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service advised members of the general public, that posting any personal information of a young offender, victim or witness on social media, could be followed by criminal proceedings under the Criminal Procedure Act 1995.This same offence is carried through England and Wales, if the court doesn’t make an order to allow the identification of someone under 18 to be published.
Sarah Hallett from our Criminal Defence team at Churchers Solicitors says “The naming of young offenders breaches a child’s right to privacy, undermine attempts at rehabilitation and may well further increase criminal behaviour as a result. Publications, including on social media, that ‘name and shame’ young offenders has recently been reviewed which has been important in reinforcing the seriousness of such offences “
Specifically, this form of criminal offence could include the publishing of a name, image, video or school of the young offender to the general public, or any other information that could lead to bias in any future trial.
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