After decades of lobbying by The Advertiser, alleged sexual criminals will now lose a raft of privacy protections, under new SA laws.
Under existing laws, those accused of preying on children and the vulnerable will lose their default anonymity. The new laws abolish the automatic suppression of alleged sex offenders’ identities, unless the release of their names would also identify their victims.
Advertiser Chief Court Reporter Sean Fewster is one of the people behind the push to change the laws, he joined Erin and Soda this morning to talk through the change and what it’s taken to get there.
Hear Sean explain the law change:
“It’s been a very long road, but we’ve never given up on this change, we knew it had to be made, and even though it took 18 years, which is, you know, the length of my entire career in courts so far, it was worth every second of the fight,” Fewster told Erin and Soda.
“Up until now, the moment someone’s been arrested and charged with a sexual-based offence we haven’t been able to report on their name, their image, anything to do with them, even report the fact that they’ve appeared in court. All of that’s been wiped away now.”
“It’s been a two-tiered system for far too long, for as long as I’ve been in journalism, probably for longer than most listeners have actually even been alive…it’s great to see that the politicians finally got behind The Advertiser campaign and realised that this needed to change”