Sexual abuse: a reminder of the usefulness of professional secrecy




(Belga) professor of criminal law, UCL Damien Vandermeersch pointed out Wednesday, in front of the special Commission of the Chamber relative to the treatment of sexual abuse, the usefulness of professional confidentiality that allows the harvesting of confidences. “Force them to communicate revelations of an author without his consent would be tantamount to calling in question the obligation of professional secrecy”, says the professor of the UCL. A confidential communication, despite the professional confidentiality but with the consent of a victim, may prove to be positive, according to Mr. Vandermeersch. The victim often needs professional support to address the court and such disclosure may be moving in this direction. For the former judge of instruction and current attorney-general at the Court of cassation, this track related to the consent of the victim may be cast in a law. However, Mr Vandermeersch considers that it is necessary to be cautious if you wish to terminate without the agreement of a victim of the facts reported by it. This poses a problem in respect to the victim which would be infantilisée, warns the professor of criminal law. The latter does not support the idea of making the Justice exclusive. “Justice is not always extraordinary, even if it has its reason to be. The criminal Justice system is not always in the lace,” he added. Damien Vandermeersch has to be recalled that the privilege is recognized in certain professions or sectors by the act or the case law. This law has exceptions, however, such as those of the non-assistance to person in danger or the state of necessity. (FCH)

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