Media reporting on child homicide victims: consultation

This consultation looks at media reporting of and public information sharing about child homicide victims. We are seeking views about options for reducing the trauma this can have on bereaved families.


This consultation paper has explored the key considerations and challenges when discussing how we can reduce the trauma of media reporting on bereaved families of child victims. As is evident from the preceding text, this is a hugely complex issue that impacts on a wide range of individuals and communities.

The Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs set out in the Ministerial Foreword to this consultation the importance of examining these complex issues carefully, listening to the range of views, building on the evidence base and reaching a shared understanding of the issues. We recognise that there will always be differing opinions, interests and experiences – we may not be able to reach a consensus on all matters, but we must ensure that any decisions we make are considered and evidence-based.

We must ensure that the voices of victims and survivors remain at the heart of the discussion, especially those of children who have lost a family member to homicide. But we cannot ignore the wider consequences of any potential legislative changes on the ability for bereaved families to talk freely about their loved one without fear of criminal sanction, and on freedom of expression and the principle of open justice.

It is essential we find a way forward that addresses the impact on bereaved families whilst avoiding unintended negative consequences for those families and society more widely. This consultation explores a number of options, both non-legislative and legislative, but this is not an exhaustive list and we welcome input on other action that could be taken to address the issues that have been raised. Furthermore, it does not represent a commitment to legislate in this area, rather seeks to explore the options for, and implications of, legislation should it be deemed a necessary and achievable course of action.

Thank you for taking the time to read through and respond to this consultation.



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