Definition of shield law in US English:

shield law


  • 1A law that protects witnesses from revealing certain information, especially in court.

    1. 1.1 A law that protects journalists from having to reveal confidential sources.
      • ‘But the receiving of this information is not itself a crime. That's what shield laws are all about - a public statement that such transactions between reporters and sources are not a crime.’
      • ‘The shield law protects journalists in terms of their news gathering and in terms of unpublished information.’
      • ‘Should there be a federal shield law for journalists who protect their confidential sources?’
      • ‘But Mr Bashir invoked California's shield law which protects journalists from having to disclose their sources.’
      • ‘Most states have shield laws for reporters, and the details of what's covered varies from state to state.’
    2. 1.2 A law that protects rape victims from having to reveal details of their sexual history.
      • ‘Granted, the accuser's past sexual conduct is not automatically excluded - just as, before shield laws, it wasn't automatically allowed.’
      • ‘The messages, the judge held, were inadmissible under New York State's rape shield law because they had to do with the accuser's sexual conduct.’
      • ‘That violates every tenant of the rape shield law.’
      • ‘For now, however, there is no reason to think that the prosecution will be one of the exceptional cases in which evidence of the accuser's sexual history will be relevant notwithstanding the rape shield law.’
      • ‘Prosecutors tried to protect the accuser's privacy under Colorado's rape shield law.’