Witnesses Anonymous

Jack Straw has just been on Sky News saying…

“On one hand everybody must expect the right to a fair trial, on the other, there are these awful cases involving guns, gangs, drugs and knives where witnesses are terrorised. We have to correct that.”

The way to correct that, the Government is proposing, is to allow anonymous witnesses

Obviously, with the whole Davis Davis issue and the Drinking on the Tube ban, there has been a lot of talk about “erosion of ancient liberties” but I think the right to face your accuser is absolutely fundamental.

Is this belief just another mad Libertarian affectation?

UPDATE: Geoffrey Robertson QC has a very thought provoking article on the subject at CiF in which he argues ‘There can be no fair trials with this perjurer’s charter’.