Naming names and sexual misconduct cases

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has given a useful reminder on the difficulties of avoiding bad publicity.  In Vatish v CPS, a case involving allegations of sexual misconduct, an Employment Tribunal issued an Order restricting the press from reporting the names of the parties involved. When one party appealed against the order, the EAT pointed out that it is only where there is an allegation of a sexual offence (i.e. a crime) that the tribunal is obliged to issue  a permanent restricted reporting order. Where there is no offence but only sexual misconduct alleged (as will be the case in most sexual harassment and discrimination complaints) then the tribunal has a discretion whether or not to issue the order and, on the facts of this case, it was wrong to do so. Also, such an order can only last until the end of proceedings. In other words, where there is no offence alleged, once the case is concluded the press can report the names and facts in as much detail as they think their readers will want.

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