The defendant litigant had been found guilty of contempt in the face of court and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. The contemnor now sought to purge his contempt. Held: The sentence had been imposed as punishment and not to seek to enforce compliance with the order. As a result of his behaviour have had been … Continue reading Balli, Re Contempt of Court Act 1981 (No. 2): ChD 15 Jul 2011
The newspaper challenged an order that the part of the defendant’s trial for rape which related to his character and history should be heard excluding the press. Held: The order stood. Clearly such an order could be made only after careful consideration, and was a metter of great sensitivity. The fact that some element might … Continue reading Times Newspapers Ltd v Abdulaziz: CACD 8 Jul 2016
Palmer was a witness to proceedings before a Magistrates’ Court. Whilst he and the defendant were waiting in the foyer outside the court for the magistrates to consider their decision Palmer threatened the defendant. He was charged with and convicted of a contempt, then sought to appeal. The crown court declined jurisdiction. He then sought … Continue reading Regina v Havant Justices ex parte Palmer: QBD 1985
The Court was asked whether the justices had had power under section 4(2) to impose reporting restrictions on committal proceedings pending the trial to which they related.. Held: They had. A premature publication in contravention of a postponement order under section 4(2) of which the publisher was aware is a contempt of court notwithstanding section … Continue reading Regina v Horsham Justices ex parte Farquharson: CA 1982
The Court had held, inter alia, that there had been a breach of Article 10 by reason of an injunction granted against Times Newspapers Limited in accordance with the English law of contempt of court but no breach of Article 14 (art. 14). During the proceedings on the merits, the applicants, without quantifying their claim, … Continue reading The Sunday Times v The United Kingdom (No 1): ECHR 6 Nov 1980
Ban on Prisoners talking to Journalists unlawful The two prisoners, serving life sentences for murder, had had their appeals rejected. They continued to protest innocence, and sought to bring their campaigns to public attention through the press, having oral interviews with journalists without undertakings from the journalists not to publish any element of the interview. … Continue reading Regina v Secretary of State for The Home Department Ex Parte Simms: HL 8 Jul 1999
The applicants were suspected of terrorist associations. Their bank accounts and similar had been frozen. They challenged the Order in Council under which the orders had been made without an opportunity for parliamentary challenge or approval. Held: The Orders must be set aside. ‘It is I think obvious that this procedure does not begin to … Continue reading A, K, M, Q and G v HM Treasury: Admn 24 Apr 2008
The claimant challenged the Order as regards the prescription of the morning-after pill, asserting that the pill would cause miscarriages, and that therefore the use would be an offence under the 1861 Act. Held: ‘SPUC’s case is that any interference with a fertilised egg, if it leads to the loss of the egg, involves the … Continue reading Regina (Smeaton) v Secretary of State for Health and Others: Admn 18 Apr 2002
The defendant appealed against a sentenced for contempt of court. He said that the sentence should have been at worst an order for costs. He had been chairman of the claimant bank, and stood accused of fraud. Held: In some cases the sanction provides an incentive for belated compliance, because the contemnor may seek a … Continue reading JSC BTA Bank v Solodchenko and Others: CA 28 Oct 2011
The defendant had permitted a journalist to see documents revealed to her as in her capacity as a solicitor in the course of proceedings. Held: The documents were disclosed under an obligation to use them for the instant case only. That rule was imposed because ‘Discovery constitutes a very serious invasion of the privacy and … Continue reading Home Office v Hariette Harman: HL 11 Feb 1982
Need for clarity in Contempt Allegation The defendant appealed from his convictions for contempt of court, being said to have broadcast details of criminal prosecutions despite orders to the contrary. He argued that any failure of procedure was fatal to the prosecutions. Held: As to the first hearing and contempt finding, the appeal failed. As … Continue reading Re Yaxley-Lennon (Aka Tommy Robinson): CACD 1 Aug 2018
Anonymised Party to Proceedings The BBC challenged an order made by the Court of Session in judicial review proceedings, permitting the applicant review to delete his name and address and substituting letters of the alphabet, in the exercise (or, as the BBC argues, purported exercise) of a common law power. The court also gave directions … Continue reading A v British Broadcasting Corporation (Scotland): SC 8 May 2014
Ward has no extra privilege from Police Interview The court considered the need to apply to court in respect of the care of a ward of the court when the Security services needed to investigate possible terrorist involvement of her and of her contacts. Application was made for a declaration as to the need for … Continue reading Re A Ward of Court: FD 4 May 2017
The claimants sought damages from the defendants saying that they had been held and ill treated at various detention centres by foreign authorities, but with the involvement of the defendants. The defendants sought to bring evidence before the court as closed material, not to be seen by the claimants. Held: The court could make such … Continue reading Al Rawi and Others v The Security Service and Others: QBD 18 Nov 2009
The House was asked whether an action for unlawful means conspiracy was available against a participant in a missing trader intra-community, or carousel, fraud. The company appealed a finding of liability saying that the VAT Act and Regulations contained the entire regime. Held: Criminal conduct at common law or by statute can constitute unlawful means … Continue reading Total Network Sl v Revenue and Customs: HL 12 Mar 2008
In matrimonial proceedings, Mr L had defied a court order to pay redundancy and other money due to him into a solicitors’ joint account upon receipt, pending further order. Mr L received andpound;30,000, paid all the money into his own account, withdrew andpound;24,000, and claimed to have gambled that sum away. He was sentenced to … Continue reading Lightfoot v Lightfoot: CA 1989
Civil Search Orders possible The plaintiff manufactured and supplied through the defendants, its English agents, computer components. It had reason to suspect that the defendant was disclosing its trade secrets to competitors. The court considered the effect of a civil search order (as opposed to a criminal search warrant), where the court had in effect … Continue reading Anton Piller v Manufacturing Processes Ltd: CA 8 Dec 1975
No General Liability in Tort for Wrongful Acts The plaintiff had previously constructed an oil supply pipeline from Beira to Mozambique. After Rhodesia declared unilateral independence, it became a criminal offence to supply to Rhodesia without a licence. The plaintiff ceased supply as required, but complained that the defendants had continued to make supplies by … Continue reading Lonrho Ltd v Shell Petroleum Co Ltd (No 2): HL 1 Apr 1981
Limitation on Making of Anonymity Orders A firm of solicitors sought an order for anonymity in their proceedings against the LAB, saying that being named would damage their interests irrespective of the outcome. Held: The legal professions have no special part in the law as a party to entitle a court to allow a solicitors … Continue reading Regina v Legal Aid Board ex parte Kaim Todner (a Firm of Solicitors): CA 10 Jun 1998
Anonymity not to be by secret trial The newspaper appealed against an order for the defendant soldiers’ trial to be held in camera. Held: Section 94(2) could not be used to provide anonymity. The court relied on its common law powers under which: ‘for us to be entitled to make any order for anonymity for … Continue reading Times Newspapers Ltd and others v Regina and others: CMAC 24 Oct 2008
The defendant prison governor had intercepted a prisoner’s letter to the Crown Office for the purpose of raising proceedings to have the governor committed for an alleged contempt of court. Held: The governor was in contempt of court. Subject to any legislation altering the situation, a prisoner retains all his rights that are not taken … Continue reading Raymond v Honey: HL 4 Mar 1981
Police defendants not to have addresses withheld The defendants, senior police officers were accused of misconduct in public office, being said to have sought improperly to interfere in prosecutions for speeding. They appealed against refusal by the magistrates to have their addresses protected. Held: The appeal failed. The burden was on the claimants to establish … Continue reading Harper and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Aldershot Magistrates Court: Admn 8 Jun 2010
The Attorney General sought a finding of contempt against the defendant television company in respect of its reporting of a criminal trial. The defendant in the trial faced a charge of murder. The company broacast to the region on the morning of the . .
The appellants appealed against orders for delivery up of papers belonging to the claimant. The paper was a market sensitive report which had been stolen and doctored before being handed to the appellant.
Held: The Ashworth Hospital case . .
The court can order the identity of a wrongdoer to be revealed where the person against whom the order was sought had become involved in his tortious acts. This might apply even where the acts were unlawful, but fell short of being tortious. There . .
The respondent had been sentenced to two months imprisonment for breaches of orders under the Act. The wife appealed, seeking to increase the sentence. The maximum sentence was two years.
Held: The court had to consider such cases in the light . .
Complaint was made that defendant newspapers were to publish confidential medical records of doctors suffering Aids. An injunction was sought to prevent use of records given to a journalist by a hospital employee. The records related to doctors in . .
Challenge to a decision to discharge a reporting restriction order made under s.11 Contempt of Court Act 1981 that prohibited publication of the claimant’s address. . .
Whether the Crown Court was wrong in law to discharge a reporting restriction order prohibiting the reporting of the appellant’s home address in connection with criminal proceedings. . .
The House had to consider whether a local valuation court was a court for the purposes of the powers of the High Court relating to contempt.
Held: A body, which has a judicial function, was a court, whereas if it has an administrative . .
(Mauritius) The applicant appealed three counts of contempt of court, arising from speeches made by him in the political debate. He had been a minister, but was subject to investigation for fraud. To found a appeal he had to show some blatant or . .
The Claimant indicated that he had a disability in his ET1 and requested some adjustments including permission to use a recording device as his condition made it difficult for him to take contemporaneous notes. The Tribunal indicated that an . .
The claimant, the son of the leader of Libya, sought damages for defamation from the defendant for an article alleging his involvement in criminal activities. The defendant appealed orders striking out certain parts of his defence, and the claimant . .
The plaintiffs claimed large-scale copyright infringement, and obtained Anton Pillar orders. The House considered the existence of the privilege against self-incrimination where the Anton Piller type of order has been made. The Court of Appeal had . .
The basic rule is that anything said in open court may be reported. Withholding the name from the public during the proceedings will provide the basis for the making of an order under section 11 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981. . .
The Association complained that an order preventing the naming of a defendant after his conviction so as to protect the identity of the complainant was made in excess of the court’s jurisdiction. . .
In breach of a court order and reminders from the CPS the defendant newspapers published material severely critical of the defendant in a notorious murder trial after the jury had retired but before they returned all their verdicts. A retrial had . .
(Court’s Martial Appeal Court) The newspaper appealed against an order under section 94 of the 1955 Act restricting the identification of the defendants. The judge had said there would be a threat to both the safety of the defendants and as to the . .
Court to look first to prejudice then to openness when restricting court reports. . .
Mr Ballie, a former solicitor, was found guity of contempt in the face of the court and sentenced to six months imprisonment. It was said that he had continued to call himself a solicitor and had so practised after he had been struck from the Roll . .
A had been chairman of the claimant bank. After removal, A fled to the UK, obtaining asylum. The bank then claimed embezzlement, and was sentenced for contempt after failing to disclose assets when ordered, but fled the UK. The Appellant, K, was A’s . .
While the general rule is that a Court will not hear an application for his own benefit by a person in contempt unless and until he has first purged his contempt, there is an established exception to that general rule where the purpose of the . .
The five applicants had lived in the UK for at least three years while attending school or college. All five were subject to immigration control, four had entered as students with limited leave to remain for the duration of their studies, and the . .
When considering a complaint of contempt of court against a newspaper, it should be recognised that any criminal trial, by its very nature, causes all involved in it to become progressively more inward looking, with the capacity to study the . .
The risk of impediment or prejudice to a trial from a publication has to be assessed at the date of publication. ‘Substantial risk’ in section 2(2) means a risk which is more than remote. Lord Diplock said: ‘Next for consideration is the . .
The defendants appealed convictions for contempt of court, on the basis of having wilfully interrupted the court. The respondent said that no appeal lay.
Held: The statute was ambiguous, and ‘there can be no good reason why a person convicted . .
The claimant sought judicial review of his conviction by the magistrates for contempt of court: ‘The Administrative Court office wrote to Mr Lane on 22nd November, almost a week ago, pointing out that the right of appeal against orders made under . .
Where a contemnor sould be fined but would be unable to pay a fine at the level thought appropriate, that was not a good reason to impose imprisonment. . .
Complaint was made that an article was defamatory of the owner of Manchester United. The defendant now argued that the game was not worth the candle. The costs vastly exceeded any possible recovery, and it had openly offered vindication, and that . .
Application for injunction to restrain former employees now in competition from urging present employees to break their contracts. . .
The defendant had repeatedly failed to obey orders for the production of documents made in the course of civil litigation proceedings. He was ordered to be committed to prison ‘until further order’ He appealed.
Held: With regard to section 14, . .
The questions asked of a court when staying a criminal trial because of newspaper reporting, and when assessing a contempt of court, are different, and the stay of a trial need have no implication that a contempt has been committed. The strict . .
The court considered the effect of a jury trial in balancing pre-trial prejudicial publicity. Lord Taylor CJ said: ‘In determining whether publication of matter would cause a substantial risk of prejudice to a future trial, a court should credit the . .
A ‘substantial risk’ in section 2(2) can means a risk which is ‘not insubstantial’. The test of ‘substantial risk’ and ‘serious prejudice’ are separate but overlapping. The degree of risk of impact of a publication on a trial and the extent of that . .
The principles in American Cyanamid did not affect the rule in Bonnard v Perryman. Sir Denys Buckley saiod: ‘the question what meaning the words complained of bore was primarily one for the jury. Suppose the words bore the second meaning alleged and . .
A Crown Court judge’s decision to allow naming of a youth appearing before it, was a matter for the judge’s discretion, and was not susceptible to judicial review proceedings. Such orders are analogous to contempt orders, tending to influence the . .
Lord Diplock discussed section 10 of the 1981 Act, saying: ‘The exceptions include no reference to ‘the public interest’ generally and I would add that in my view the expression ‘justice’, the interests of which are entitled to protection, is not . .
A jury trial procedure for contempt would never be appropriate: ‘If the trial is to be by jury, the possibility of prejudice by advance publicity directed to an issue which the jury will have to decide is obvious. The possibility that a professional . .
The mere fact that a child is known to be a ward of court is not sufficient to make any publication identifying the child a contempt of court. . .
The court was asked whether disclosure should be ordered in the context of the statutory privilege which was created by s.10 of the 1981 Act. The publisher defendant had deposed that it would justify the material. At trial, however, the defence of . .
The court considered the existence of a power in the magistrates court to order a hearing to be held in camera and referred to section 11 of the 1981 Act. Watkins LJ said: ‘However, I am bound to say that I am impressed with the argument that the . .
An option was granted to purchase the reversion conferred on the lessees under certain leases. The price was be not less than andpound;12,000, and it was to be fixed by valuers appointed by each party and default of agreement it was to be fixed by . .
The circumstances in which it is appropriate for a court to allow a name or other names to be withheld are rare. The Court cannot derogate from this principle for lesser purposes, including that of sparing the feelings of a defendant. . .
The defendant was tried for causing grievous bodily harm. After a majority direction, the jury returned, finding him guity. When asked if this was ‘the verdict of you all’, the formean replied ‘Yes’. The day after, he wrote to the judge to say that . .
When the defendant charged with indecent assault was remanded on bail to await trial, the magistrate ordered that there should be no report of the proceedings at that stage because of the defendant’s concerns that publicity would lead to his being . .
Justices to be slow restricting reports under 4(2) when powers used MCA 80 s8. . .
Any assault on an officer whilst undertaking official duties is contempt even if assault not in court itself. . .
The defendant was to face trial under the 2006 Act. He applied for an order under section 4(2) of the 1981 Act postponing the reporting of the proceedings on the grounds that knowledge by the jury of the inquiry and police investigation would be . .
An application was made at this pre-trial review, by the claimants in two actions, where they had already obtained orders to preserve their anonymity, for orders protecting that anonymity under the defendant’s search engine. . .
Whether a prisoner serving a sentence for contempt of court is subject to the same rules as to early release etc as other prisoners.
Held: ‘paragraph 5.2 of PSO 6300 is unlawful in so far as it purports to require, or is interpreted by the . .
References:  2 Lloyds Rep 595 Coram: Brandon LJ While the general rule is that a Court will not hear an application for his own benefit by a person in contempt unless and until he has first purged his contempt, there is an established exception to that general rule where the purpose of the application … Continue reading The ‘Messiniaki Tolmi’: 1981
1267 – 1278 – 1285 – 1297 – 1361 – 1449 – 1491 – 1533 – 1677 – 1688 – 1689 – 1700 – 1706 – 1710 – 1730 – 1737 – 1738 – 1751 – 1774 – 1792 – 1793 – 1804 – 1814 – 1819 – 1824 – 1828 – 1831 – 1832 … Continue reading Acts
Following a trial, a juror wrote to the defendant’s mother to say that other jury members had not considered the case in a proper manner. He had been given written advice that he was not free to discuss a case with anyone. He appealed his conviction for contempt of court, saying that his intention had … Continue reading Attorney General v Scotcher: HL 19 May 2005
Jury Consulting Ouija Board – Serious Irregularity It had been suggested that during their overnight stay in a hotel after retiring to consider their verdict, some of the jurors had consultated an ouija board to consult with the deceased, and to ask him who had been his killer. Having believed that contact had been made, … Continue reading Regina v Young (Stephen): CACD 30 Dec 1994
The first defendant had been foreman of a jury in a criminal trial. He was accused of disclosing details of the jury’s votes and their considerations with concerns about the expert witnesses to the second defendant. The parties disputed the extent of disclosure required to amount to an offence. Held: There was no place for … Continue reading HM Attorney General v Seckerson and Times Newspapers Ltd: Admn 13 May 2009
Juror’s use of Facebook was contempt The court considered whether a juror had committed contempt of court. She had communicated with a defendant via Facebook, despite explicit warnings not to use the internet. Held: Both juror and defendant in the trial had committed contempt of court and were sentenced accordingly. The defendant juror said that … Continue reading Attorney General v Fraill and Another: CACD 16 Jun 2011
In a case where a contemnor not only fails wilfully and contumaciously to comply with an order of the court but makes it clear that he will continue to defy the court’s authority if the order should be affirmed on appeal, the court must have a . .
Approach to juror by Defendant’s lawyers liable to be a contempt of court. . .
Any passing of information about jury activities threatened the secrecy of the jury room, and was potentially in contempt. . .
A message was offered to one of the solicitors acting for a defendant from a relative of a juror after the trial.
Held: Rules against hearing of jury deliberations are wider than Contempt of Court Act. The court refused to commence any Young . .
The first applicant had been chairman of a jury and had expressed his concerns about their behaviour to the second applicant who published them. They were prosecuted under the 1981 Act. They had said that no details of the deliberations had been . .
The trial judge had directed his jury at a criminal trial: ‘You will make your decision about this case based solely upon the evidence which you hear during this trial, in this courtroom and upon nothing else. Most of us these days have access to . .
A member of the jury wrote to the judge saying that other members were failing to discharge their duties properly. Smith took a tactical decision not to seek a retrial. The judge saw counsel in chambers, after which the jury were reminded of their . .
A long hearing was to be interrupted by the long vacation. The Bank sought an order to restrict publication of the part evidence given by one witness until his evidence had been concluded.
Held: Though the witness was only such and not a . .
Enquiries as to jurors views were only to be conducted with the court’s consent. . .
The defendants appealed against their convictions for conspiracy in have combined to put into the human food chain poultry meat which had been condemned as unfit. The jury after retiremen had indicated that they had reached agreement on some . .
Following the acquittal of a prominent politician on a charge of conspiracy to murder, the New Statesman magazine published an article, based on an interview with one of the jurors, which gave an account of significant parts of the jury’s . .
A newspaper was held to have been in contempt of court for publishing details of the deliberations of a jury, even though it had not solicited the information. Beldam LJ said of the word ‘disclosure’: ‘It is a word wide enough to encompass the . .
The applicant had been committed for ten months for contempt, being in breach of family court injunctions. He applied to be released after two months on the basis that the unserved balance of the sentence be suspended. The court held that it had the power to do this, even in the absence of any direct … Continue reading Harris v Harris; Harris v Attorney General: FD 21 May 2001
Rehearing/Review – Little Difference on Appeal The appellant asked the Court to reverse a decision on the facts reached in the lower court. Held: The appeal failed (Majority decision). The court’s approach should be the same whether the case was dealt with as a rehearing or as a review. Tanfern was limited to appeals from … Continue reading Assicurazioni Generali Spa v Arab Insurance Group (BSC): CA 13 Nov 2002
The applicants had had their requests for asylum refused. They complained that if they were removed from the UK, their article 3 rights would be infringed. If they were returned to Pakistan or Vietnam they would be persecuted for their religious faiths. Held: A distinction was to be made between domestic cases involving actions within … Continue reading Regina v Special Adjudicator ex parte Ullah; Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department: HL 17 Jun 2004
The publishers had gone to great lengths to keep advance copies of a forthcoming book in the Harry Potter series secret. They became aware that some had been stolen from the printers and sought injunctions against the defendants and another unnamed and unknown person. Held: The court was able to make the order sought against … Continue reading Bloomsbury Publishing Group Ltd and J K Rowling v News Group Newspapers Ltd and others: ChD 23 May 2003
County Court sitting at Milton Keynes. The claimant prisoner sought damages saying that his personal property had been damaged whilst in the care of the defendant. Held: The claims succeeded in part. Some damage was deliberate. There was a history of failures by the defendant to comply with court orders in relation to the Claimant: … Continue reading Thakrar v The Secretary of State for Justice: Misc 31 Dec 2015
The newspaper and other media companies appealed from an order restricting the reporting of parts of the evidence given in a trial for an offence under the 1989 Act. The objected that the order did not serve, as required, to protect any proceedings, and that it should not be a permanent ban. Held: The order … Continue reading Times Newspapers Ltd and others v Regina: CACD 30 Jul 2007
The court was asked as to the interpretation and application of the standard form freezing order. In the course of long-running litigation between JSC BTA Bank and Mr Ablyazov the Bank had obtained a number of judgments against the respondent amounting in all to US$4.4 billion, none of which had been satisfied. The bank appealed … Continue reading JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov: SC 21 Oct 2015
Offence must be ;in accordance with law’ The court considered the meaning of the need for an offence to be ‘in accordance with law.’ The applicants did not argue that the expression prescribed by law required legislation in every case, but contended that legislation was required only where the common law rules were so uncertain … Continue reading The Sunday Times (No 1) v The United Kingdom: ECHR 26 Apr 1979
The claimant complained of misfeasance in public office by the prisons for having opened and read protected correspondence whilst he was in prison. The respondent argued that he had suffered no loss. The judge had found that bad faith was established in three prison officers. In one case the officer opened the letter in front … Continue reading Watkins v Home Office and others: HL 29 Mar 2006
A prison policy requiring prisoners not to be present when their property was searched and their mail was examined was unlawful. The policy had been introduced after failures in search procedures where officers had been intimidated by the presence of prisoners. Particularly when examining documents subject to legal professional privilege, the rules did not allow … Continue reading Regina (Daly) v Secretary of State for the Home Department: HL 23 May 2001
Prison rules were ultra vires in so far as they provided for reading letters between prisoners and their legal advisers. Every citizen has a right of unimpeded access to the court. A prisoner’s unimpeded access to a solicitor for the purpose of receiving advice and assistance in connection with a possible institution of proceedings in … Continue reading Regina v Secretary of State Home Department, ex parte Leech (No 2): CA 20 May 1993
Prerogative act of prorogation was justiciable. The Prime Minister had prorogued Parliament for a period of five weeks, leaving only a short time for Parliament to debate and act the forthcoming termination of the membership by the UK of the EU. The Scottish Court had decided (Cherry) that the prorogation was void being for impermissible … Continue reading Miller, Regina (on the Application of) v The Prime Minister; Cherry QC v Lord Advocate: SC 24 Sep 2019