Published On: Wed, Apr 10th, 2024

Victims can breach ‘gagging orders’ in post-Me Too reform | Politics | News

Victims of sexual abuse and other crimes who have signed “gagging orders” will be able to breach them under a major post-Me Too reform.

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk tabled amendments to his Victims and Prisoners Bill that would mean sexual abusers and other serious offenders cannot use non-disclosure agreements (NDA) to prevent their victims from speaking out.

It comes after high-profile cases, such as that of disgraced Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein highlighted how confidentiality agreements are used by abusers.

In what will be seen as a major win for victims, NDAs will no longer be legally enforceable if they are preventing employees from reporting a crime.

Under the plans, victims will be free to speak to police officers, lawyers, doctors and counsellors without facing legal reprucussions.

Chalk’s other ammendments included new measures to make secret hearings more open to the public.

According to The Telegraph, these hearings have been used to free mentally unwell killers previously.

Other ammendments would see legally enforced plans to name and shame police, prosecutors and courts that feel to meet their duty of care towards victims.

Chalk told the paper: “It is right that we hold agencies to account to ensure victims are getting the support they need.”

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