Inall court cases, the defendant has a right appear in court andpresent his case openly, in accordance to the human rights to havethe right to a fair trial. A fair trial entails the presence of awitness whose identity is open to the defendant and the court atlarge. However, the court may protect the identity of a witness, andhe or she presents evidence in court as an anonymous entity.
Incases where the evidence provided by a person seeking the anonymityorder is the sole evidence in the case, then the anonymity order islikely not to be granted. Therefore, in all cases requiring anonymityorder, then there should be other sources of evidence to be comparedto that of an anonymous informer (Vermeulen, 2005).
Issuingof the anonymity order requires the cases to touch on the safety of awitness or property, the fairness of the trial and upholding publicinterest. Whenever the informer has the anonymity order, theprosecution has a major duty of ensuring the informer gives detailedinformation. The information serves to aid the defense to workeffectively on the evidence given by an anonymous witness and makethe right decisions in the best interest of the trial proceedings(Vermeulen, 2005).
However,the identity of an informer may be disclosed if the court finds outthat the informer was previously convicted. The anonymity of theinformer is also lifted if the informer is in contact with the victimor the police playing a significant part in the trial. Cases wherethe anonymous informer appears to contradict hoe testimony or whenthe informer is not acting independently the anonymity order islifted. An anonymous witness found withholding material that isessential to the trial can also lead to giving out the identity of aninformer (Hicks and Lockwood, 2010).
Hicks,M. and Lockwood, D. (2010) Witness anonymity. Inside Times,National newspaper for prisoners and detainees:from insidetime issueOctober 2010
Vermeulen,G. (2005). EU standards in witness protection and collaborationwith justice. Antwerp [u.a.: Maklu.