In 2021, the Law Commission – set up to keep the law of England and Wales under review and recommend reform where needed – was asked to examine the trial and evidence process for prosecutions of sexual offences. Two years on, one of the commission’s proposed reforms has been called an “affront to the principle of open justice” by the Crime Reporters’ Association (CRA). A consultation paper published earlier this year suggests that defendants should have a right to exclude the public when giving evidence, including all but one member of the press. The Commission claims this would reduce “additional pressure and stress” for witnesses giving evidence. The CRA has said there isn’t a known case of a witness or victim not giving evidence because of reporters being present. Instead, they say, the restriction would effectively place a “veil of secrecy” over sexual offence trials – as well as being practically unworkable. Going further, the commission has also asked for opinions on whether these restrictions could be put in place for sexual offence trials in their entirety.