I have been sent two reported decisions from New Zealand on anonymity for victims of abuse by Sonja Cooper, a lawyer acting for child abuse victims in that jurisdiction.
The first is Y v Attorney General  NZCA 474. This was an appeal against a judge's decision not to grant anonymity to witnesses, who were alleging non sexual abuse. The court said that it would not grant anonymity to any class of witnesses, but rather that each witness had to present his or her own evidentiary basis for anonymity.
The next case is X v Attorney General  NZCA 475. This involved the application of an organisation providing care for young people for the suppression of its name. The organisation argued that a) that young people in its care could come to harm b) its staff would face difficulties c) it would suffer irreparable damage to its reputation. The New Zealand Court of Appeal decided the judge who originally granted the order was right to do so. The loss of anonymity would harm young people in its care, particularly as those young people had no interest in these proceedings.
At present in England and Wales, it is usually relatively straightforward, getting an anonymity order in child abuse proceedings. These decisions, if taken into our law, might open the way for organisations to obtain anonymity for themselves and for courts to deny anonymity to certain witnesses in child abuse cases.
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