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The offence of concealing a serious indictable offence has been significantly amended recently, with changes to maximum penalties, possibly unintended changes to the elements of the offence, and the addition of a new offence of failing to report sexual abuse of a child in an institutional setting. Between those amendments and some high-profile cases in the media, it’s a good time to talk about this particularly thorny issue. On the face of it, the idea of criminalising the concealment of a serious indictable offence in the name of public betterment is pretty straightforward; either you’re for it, or against. By the end of this article, no matter what your view, you might be questioning your position.

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