CONTEMPT OF COURT
“The law of contempt protects the integrity of the administration of justice and the fundamental principle that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
Dodd and Hanna 2016:212
THE CONTEMPT OF COURT ACT 1981
This act guards against the publication of material that presents a
SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF SERIOUS PREJUDICE TO ACTIVE PROCEEDINGS
Strict liability offence
ARTICLE 6 OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT
Everyone has the right to a
A hearing that is fair, public, heard within a reasonable time and heard by an
impartial court or tribunal
Section 3 defence:
Not knowing proceedings were active – if you can prove you took reasonable care, did not know, and had no reason to suspect that a case was active. The burden of proof is on the publisher to prove they didn’t know.
Section 4 defence:
allows court reporting which is FAIR, ACCURATE, CONTEMPORANEOUS, if it the hearing is held in PUBLIC
Section 4(2) orders: a judge can stop you publishing that contemporaneous report if it will prejudice another trial.
'A substantial risk of
PREJUDICING AN ACTIVE TRIAL
A trial could be prejudiced if:
You refer to a
suggest DISHONESTY or BAD CHARACTER
suggest the person DID IT
LINK the person to the SCENE
DEFINING AN ACTIVE CASE
A CASE IS DEEMED ACTIVE IF:
arrest warrant is issued
court summons is issued
When someone is
when someone is
When a case is
NO LONGER ACTIVE
If the case is discontinued/dropped
If the person is
released without being charged
If the defendant is
acquitted or sentenced
If the defendant is found
unfit to stand
If no arrest is made within
12 months after the warrant
PENALTIES FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT
2 YEARS IN PRISON
Contempt law most affects journalists when they publish material which might affect a trial by making a jury more likely to find a defendant guilty or not guilty, or by influencing a witness's evidence
The law of contempt of court protects the JUDICIAL PROCESS. Anyone who is disruptive or threatening in a court room can be punished immediately-Contempt is a CRIMINAL OFFENCE
TWO TYPES OF CONTEMPT
STRICT LIABILITY CONTEMPT
COMMON LAW CONTEMPT
Publishing material that creates a substantial risk of serious prejudice or impendiment to active proccedings
About the REPUTATION of an individual/corporation
A statement that would make a reasonable person think less of the individual to whom the statement is referring to
The victim of a defamatory statement will suffer
HIDEOUS HARM TO THEIR REPUTATION
Defamation protects an individuals personal and professional reputation from
EXPENSES-IT MAY BE BETTER TO SETTLE
Chapter 19-21 in the book
Huge concern for journalists
'One of the greatest legal dangers for anyone earning a living with
words and images
' McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists (2016: 255)
TWO TYPES: LIBEL AND SLANDER
a published defamatory statement
note-innuendo -a law of libel which may mean a statement is defamatory to those with special knowledge
a spoken defamatory statement
Defamatory statements are published or spoken, but
CAN BE DEFENDED
in justifiable situations
THE DEFAMATION ACT 2013
This act abolished the
presumption of jury trial
for defamation cases. THE JUDGE NOW DECIDES THE KEY ISSUES OF WHAT THE WORDS MEAN AND WHETHER THEY HAVE CAUSED
Requires that the CLAIMANT (person suing) must
SHOW THAT THE STATEMENT HAS CAUSED OR IS LIKELY TO CAUSE SERIOUS REPUTATIONAL HARM
must provide evidence of serious
SUE: individuals (helps if rich), corporations, trade unions, and companies trading for profit PROVIDED they show evidence of severe financial loss.
: Elected bodies, Unincorporated associations, relatives of the dead (unless own rep affected)
The Broadcasting Act 1990 and the Theatres Act 1968
Anything on the radio, on TV or said in a theatre is classed as libel.
HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 1998, ARTICLE 10: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
in this scenario
Unlike any other area of UK law, the defendant (that’s you) in a libel action is guilty until you can prove innocence.
All the claimant has to prove is that:
The statement complained of
REFERRED TO THE CLAIMANT
They don't need to be named or pictured, just
recognisable to others
: someone mistakenly connected could sue
: Material not defamatory on its own can be defamatory if has a defamatory headline or is next to defamatory material.
Posts on social media are considered PUBLISHED.
Your words only have to be published to ONE OTHER PERSON to count as published material.
Material that is factually true, statements of FACT
NEW under the
DEFAMATION ACT 2013
IF IT IS WRITTEN AS AN HONEST OPINION/COMMENT AND
NOT A FACT
IT IS A DEFENCE
Journalists must demonstrate “responsible journalism”.
Reports from courts that are
FAIR ACCURATE AND CONTEMPORANEOUS
only applies to COURT PROCEEDINGS
OFFER OF AMENDS
Defined by the 1996 Defamation Act, extended by the 2013 Act.
Applies to reporting of parliament, public meetings and press conferences
FAIR, ACCURATE, TIMELY, PUBLISHED WITHOUT MALICE
PUBLIC INTEREST, COVERS PUBLIC MEETINGS
no specific privacy laws in the UK
Two separate areas:
Under the human right's act
CLAUSE 3 OF THE IPSO CODE
MISUSE OF PRIVATE INFORMATION
Did the claimant have a reasonable expectation of privacy (article 8)?
Is the right to privacy more important than freedom of expression (article 10)?
Or breach of confidence
what must a breach of confidence prove?
The information would have to be
CONFIDENTIAL IN NATURE
The person with the information must be
UNDER A DUTY TO KEEP IT CONFIDENTIAL
use of the information
A BREACH OF THAT DUTY
(eg if used by a journalist)
THE DUTY OF CONFIDENTIALITY
Can be created
Can have a
IMPLIED IN RELATIONSHIPS SUCH AS DOCTOR TO PATIENT AND LAWYER TO CLIENT
Confidence can be
OWED BETWEEN SPOUSES OF FRIENDS
NO FORMAL RELATIONSHIP IS NECESSARY
If a third party obtains information and knows or learns it is confidential – they can be required to respect the confidence.
CLAUSE 3 OF THE IPSO CODE
This requires journalists to respect privacy. Despite not being
, courts are required to have regard to "relevant codes" under
SECTION 12 OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT
THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 1998 ARTICLE 8 AND 10
8: Everyone has the right to respect for his private and fmily life, his home and his correspondance
10 Everyone has the right to freedom of expression including the media
OK! Vs HELLO!
Douglas and Zeta Jones wedding photos
Agreed to sell photos to OK!
Paparazzi sneaks in and takes photos to sell to rival magazine Hello!
JK ROWLING VS THE SUN 2005
JK won an injunction over the release of the plot of half blood prince, two men allegedly broke into a warehouse and stole it, attempted to sell details to The Sun
FAIR DEALINGS: Youd have fair dealings of copyright or you'd say that it was within public interest
Published with consent
Regulation for Journalists
CRIME AND COURTS ACT 2013
under section 40 of CCA states that the publisher is required to pay both fees win or lose but this is not yet implemented and gained a lot of criticism as it is the govt attempting to force publishers to join impress.
is the regulative body for journlaists, and is made up of
Accuracy, opportunity to reply, privacy, harassment, intrusion to grief, children, children in sex cases, hospitals, reporting crime, clandestine devices, victims of SA, discrimination, financial journalism, witness payment and payment to criminals.
Journalists are governed by codes of conduct by Independent Press Standards Org (ISPO) which media orgs join voluntarily.
What can be written?
The defendants name
The defendant's address
The defendant's occupation
TYPES OF COURT
Almost all criminal cases start in the Magistrate’s court. Depending on how serious they are they either stay there (95%) or go to the Crown Court
CIVIL CASES AND CRIMINAL CASES
THREE TYPES OF OFFENCES
EITHER WAY OFFENCES
Tried only in magistrates court from minor motoring offences (speeding, drink driving, common assaults) Goes to crown court if they plead not guilty
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AND COPYRIGHT
Freedom of information act 2000
Copyright, Design and Patents act 1988
Your FOI Request
You must get a reply in 20 working days though it can be extended. You can also be charged if it exceeds the limit of £450 worth of info and your request can be refused if they are unreasonable or too general. It can also be refused it is too similar to a different request or costs too much.
THE LAW ONLINE
Sexual Offences Act 1992
The Malicious Communications Act 1998
The Communications Act 2003