Sunday 17 December 2017

Media plays crucial role in ensuring open justice

For all to be equal before the law, we must make sure the public is kept fully informed, writes Olivia O'Kane

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Olivia O'Kane

The law imputes knowledge of all laws to all persons. The legal doctrine ignorantia juris haud excusat assumes that the law has been properly promulgated - published and distributed. If ignorance of the law is a legal principle holding that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law, then public understanding of those laws is paramount.

This means judges and lawyers owe a duty to the public, to not only ensure that the law can be understood but that it is also properly accessible.

Open justice is a fundamental principle to all democracies. It is a principle that is subject only to narrow exceptions to ensure public scrutiny of the operation of our justice system.

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