The review was initiated after the Belfast rape trial

A preliminary review of how rape cases are conducted in Northern Ireland recommends the exclusion of the public from proceedings.

The review was initiated following the acquittal of two Irish rugby players, Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding after a nine week rape trial in Belfast earlier this year.

The report, from retired judge, Sir John Gillen makes a series of recommendations on the way rape trials are conducted in the North.

It suggests excluding members of the general public from proceedings, only allowing access to those directly involved and the press.

The preliminary review recommends those accused of rape should not be named before they are charged but they should be publicly named once charged.

It also calls for the introduction of legislation to manage the danger created by the inappropriate use of social media.

In an interview with the Guardian Newspaper, the author of the report said he was not persuaded defendants should also retain anonymity in sexual offence trials – as they do in the Republic

The review will now go to consultation.