'Shhh ... We can't tell you': An update on the naming prohibition of young offenders
Date of this Version
Prohibitions on the naming of young offenders in criminal proceedings remain a controversial issue both in Australia and abroad. Despite international obligations, like those contained in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to protect the privacy of young people in conflict with the law jurisdictions like the Northern Territory (NT) continue to flout such provisions by placing few restrictions on media reporting of criminal cases involving juveniles. Amidst political clamours for ever more punitive measures to deal with youth crime other jurisdictions now seem bent upon following the NT's approach. A notable and largely unnoticed exception to this trend is to be found in New South Wales where in a recent inquiry, conducted by the NSW Legislative Council's Law and Justice Standing Committee, it has been recommended that not only should the privacy protections afforded young people be maintained but uniform laws should be introduced on this subject. This recommendation has since been accepted by the NSW Government. In this Comment, which updates earlier remarks on this issue published in 2007, an account is given of the inquiry's findings and recommendations, together with a call for research to establish the impact of naming and shaming young people in jurisdictions like the NT.
This document has been peer reviewed.