Contempt of court

The reporting of judicial proceedings and recording and imaging is prohibited under the contempt of court act 1981.

Sub judice is a Latin phrase meaning 'under judgment' and refers to the time during which a court case is under consideration. During this time of consideration, and whilst proceedings are sub judice, details of the case cannot be disclosed. From the time that legal proceedings become active the matter is considered to be sub judice.

The reporting of judicial proceedings and recording and imaging is prohibited under the Contempt of Court Act 1981. There has recently been a consultation into Contempt of Court following a proposal from the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee.This consultation closed at the end of February 2013 and a final report is expected in the Spring of 2014.

The Contempt of Court Act 1981 seems woefully inadequate these days when you consider the level of interest being shown in such high profile cases as the allowing of bail to Julian Assange. The need for reform has been highlighted by recent instances of jurors looking on the internet to research defendants and incriminating pictures of a defendant being posted on the internet. Newspapers have also been fined for contempt of court for the vilification of Christopher Jefferies during a murder investigation.

A  juror may find themselves in contempt of court should they discuss their part in the process or any deliberations that took place. The law as framed at present expects the jury's deliberations to be kept confidential.

The advice and warnings are quite specific and you are told that, as a jury member, you should not discuss the case with anyone except other jury members and then only in the jury deliberation room, nor should you discuss the case even when the trial is over and this includes with family members.  The restrictions now specifically mention social media sites like Facebook or Twitter and you are told not to post comments about the trial on such sites. This warning applies during and after the trial.  The penalty is that you may be held to be in contempt of court and this may result in a fine or prison sentence.

Contempt of court is treated very seriously by the law as it may mean that justice will not be carried out fairly or properly.

The consultation on contempt of court not only covers the conduct of jurors but also covers contempt by publication, the new media (the internet, facebook and twitter for instance) and contempt in the face of the court. The intention is that the law and the way contempt of court is dealt with will make the law fairer and easier to understand and see it into the future.

 

Does the internet mean game over for contempt of court? | Joshua .

Contempt of Court and Reporting Restrictions: Legal Guidance: The

Contempt of court | Law | The Guardian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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