Sub judice

A latin phrase meaning 'under judgment'.

This 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.

In criminal cases this would be from the time a person is arrested, a warrant for their arrest has been issued, a summons has been issued or someone has been charged with an offence. It would remain sub judice until proceedings have ended and a verdict is given.

In England civil cases will be sub judice from the time a hearing date for the trial is set.

The reporting of judicial proceedings and recording and imaging is prohibited under the Contempt of Court Act 1981. Common law contempt focuses on other types of action that may hinder or influence the administration of justice.

MPs or members of the House of Lords are not able to refer to current or impending court cases under the sub judice rule. This is to avoid any debate which may take place in the House and which might influence the legal outcome of the case. The sub judice rule can be relaxed if there is a need for the House to debate the matter in order to consider legislation.


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