Welcome to another week.
The nation’s child abuse inquiry has opened its public hearings with harrowing stories from child migrants who were sent abroad, with many finding themselves being emotionally and sexually abused both before leaving Britain and once reaching their final destinations.
In the wake of these terrible experiences, former child migrants, lawyers and charities have called for the names of alleged abusers to be made public. Currently, the Inquiry is at liberty to redact names in files and documents where it feels this is necessary. The arguments to name alleged abusers are that many are no longer alive, and that simple searches on the internet would likely reveal their names in any event. David Hill, a former child migrant, suggested making the names publicly available once the Inquiry was satisfied that enough proof existed to show alleged abusers’ guilt.
Henrietta Hill QC, a lawyer working for the inquiry, said it had to balance principles of open justice and the wishes of individual survivors with fairness to those who were accused. She went on to explain that the Inquiry’s role does not include determining liability or guilt, but instead must focus on how institutions responded to abuse and allegations of abuse.
Our question this week then, is just this: do you think alleged abusers should be named and shamed?