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
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
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
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 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 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
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
The court considered the treatment of time on remand by those who have been arrested under section 43 of the 2009 Act for breach of a final gang injunction order under sections 34 to 36 of the 2009 Act, and subsequently imprisoned for contempt of court pursuant to section 14 of the Contempt of Court … Continue reading James, Regina (on The Application of) v HM Prison Birmingham and Others: CA 9 Feb 2015
‘Occasion’ in the section means the occasion of committal – includes earlier sent. Ind Summary 27-Dec-1993 Contempt of Court Act 1981 14(1) England and Wales Contempt of Court Updated: 20 December 2021; Ref: scu.90168
 EWHC 2264 (Ch) Bailii Contempt of Court Act 1981 14 England and Wales Citing: See Also – Discovery Land Company Llc and Others v Jirehouse and Others ChD 7-Jun-2019 The first claimant had requested the committal of a defendant for his alleged failure to comply with undertakings he had given to the court. He … Continue reading Discovery Land Company, Llc and Others v Jirehouse and Others (Penalty): ChD 16 Aug 2019
Domestic Offence requires Domestic Defence Each defendant sought to raise by way of defence of their otherwise criminal actions, the fact that they were attempting to prevent the commission by the government of the crime of waging an aggressive war in Iraq, and that their acts were accordingly justified in law. Held: The law on … Continue reading Regina v Jones (Margaret), Regina v Milling and others: HL 29 Mar 2006
 ScotHC 33 Bailii Contempt of Court Act 1981 1 2 England and Wales Contempt of Court Updated: 12 November 2021; Ref: scu.164328
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
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 plaintiffs sought an interdict against the respondents, a dockers’ union, who sought to impose an embargo on their tweeds as they passed through the port of Stornoway. Held: A trade embargo was not tortious because the predominant purpose of the conspirators was to protect their own interests, not to damage those of the plaintiffs. … Continue reading Crofter Hand Woven Harris Tweed Company Limited v Veitch: HL 15 Dec 1941
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
Reference to Parliamentary Papers behind Statute The inspector sought to tax the benefits in kind received by teachers at a private school in having their children educated at the school for free. Having agreed this was a taxable emolument, it was argued as to whether the taxable benefit was the cost to the employer, or … Continue reading Pepper (Inspector of Taxes) v Hart: HL 26 Nov 1992
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
An application was made to discharge an anonymity order made in previous criminal proceedings before the House. The defendant was to be retried for rape under the 2003 Act, after an earlier acquittal. The applicant questioned whether such a order could properly be made, and said that in any event it should be discharged. Held: … Continue reading Attorney General’s Reference No 3 of 1999: Application By the British Broadcasting Corporation To Set Aside or Vary a Reporting Restriction Order: HL 17 Jun 2009
Presumption in Favour of Open Proceedings There had been an unauthorised dissemination by the petitioner to third parties of the official shorthand writer’s notes of a nullity suit which had been heard in camera. An application was made for a committal for contempt. Held: The House equated the contempt to a breach of an injunction … Continue reading Scott v Scott: HL 5 May 1913
The prisoner challenged the decision to place him in segregation under Prison Rule 43. Under rule 43(1) the initial power to segregate was given to ‘the governor’. The case arose from the fact that the governor of one prison had purported to authorise the segregation of a prisoner on his arrival at another prison to … Continue reading Regina v Deputy Governor of Parkhurst Prison, Ex parte Hague, Weldon v Home Office: HL 24 Jul 1991
The police arrested a man on suspicion of the murder of a young woman. He was later released and exonerated, and a second man arrested and later convicted. Whilst the first was in custody the two defendant newspapers, the Daily Mirror and the Sun ran stories which were so vivid that the Attorney-General said, they … Continue reading HM Attorney General v MGN Ltd and Another: Admn 29 Jul 2011
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
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
The claimant was serving a sentence of imprisonment. She was a pre-operative transgender woman, but held in a male prison. She sought review of a decision to refuse transfer to a women’s prison. The Gender Recognition Panel was satisfied that the Claimant had lived in her acquired gender for the requisite two year period prior … Continue reading AB, Regina (On the Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice and Another: Admn 4 Sep 2009
A Zairian sought asylum, but his application, and an application for judicial review were rejected. He was notified that he was to be returned to Zaire, but then issued new proceedings for judicial review. The judge said that his removal should be delayed, and accepted an undertaking from counsel to the Crown that he would … Continue reading M v Home Office and Another; In re M: HL 27 Jul 1993
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
The appellants were magazines and journalists who published, after committal proceedings, the name of a witness, a member of the security services, who had been referred to as Colonel B during the hearing. An order had been made for his name not to be disclosed during the hearing, but the court had had no power … Continue reading Attorney-General v Leveller Magazine Ltd: HL 1 Feb 1979
No anonymity for investigation suspect The claimant had been investigated on an allegation of historic sexual abuse. He had never been charged, but the investigation had continued with others being convicted in a high profile case. He appealed from refusal of orders restricting publication of his name and involvement in the inquiry. Held: (Kerr and … Continue reading PNM v Times Newspapers Ltd and Others: SC 19 Jul 2017
In an earlier judgment, redactions had been made relating to reports by the US government of its treatment of the claimant when held by them at Guantanamo bay. The claimant said he had been tortured and sought the documents to support his defence of his case in the US. The remaining issue was as to … Continue reading Mohamed, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No 4): Admn 4 Feb 2009
There had been, over some years, ‘saturation coverage’ of the relationship between a television personality and her boyfriend. Disclosures were made about his violence and his previous convictions. He came to be arrested and charged with a serious assault. Some newspapers published articles about the alleged incident. He successfully applied for the proceedings to be … Continue reading Attorney General v MGN Limited: CA 1997
The respondent operated a web site which contained a chat room. Defamatory remarks were made by a third party through the chat room, and the claimant sought details of the identity of the poster. The respondent refused to do so without a court order. One was applied for, and the claimant was given the information … Continue reading Totalise Plc v The Motley Fool Limited and Interative Investor Limited (2): CA 19 Dec 2001
Contempt sentence to reflect existing punishment The wife appealed against a sentence of imprisonment imposed for a second contempt of court. She said that the behaviour complained of had already been dealt with in criminal proceedings. Held: The sentence was reduced. The second court should be fully informed of the factors and circumstances reflected in … Continue reading Slade v Slade: CA 17 Jul 2009
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
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 . .
When sentencing for harassment, the court must look to previous failures to obey court orders, the defendant’s mental health, and his readiness to undergo treatment, as well as the seriousness of the conduct constituting the harassment. ‘For a . .
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. . .
A County Court judge has no power to imprison a contemnor pending a sentence decision. Time spent in custody awaiting trial for contempt would not automatically be set off against the final sentence. Proceedings for contempt can be restored after . .
Leggatt LJ said that counsel for the Attorney General was correct when he submitted that: ‘It does not follow that because a risk had been created by the broadcast, further publication in newspapers would not create fresh and added risk of . .
To be caught under the Act the risk of prejudice to a trial caused by a publication alleged to be in breach must be practical and not theoretical. . .
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 Claimant seeks damages from the Defendant for alleged professional negligence in the conduct of certain legal proceedings commenced in 2014 and 2015. These proceedings, comprising a claim in the Employment Tribunal, a petition under section 994 . .
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. . .
An order for a journalist to disclose the name of an employee disclosing his employer’s information, may be made where there was a need to identify a disloyal employee. Here drafts of accounts had been released to embarrass the company. The . .
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. . .
The mention of a case on a television programme remained a contempt of court, despite the humorous context given to the remarks in the broadcast.
Auld LJ said: ‘The degree of risk of impact of a publication on a trial and the extent of that . .
s12 provides an indication of what behaviour amounts to contempt of court. . .
Approach to juror by Defendant’s lawyers liable to be a contempt of court. . .
Court to look first to prejudice then to openness when restricting court reports. . .
An appeal against an ‘in camera’ crown court order to the Court of Appeal is to be on paper submissions. The court set out the procedure on appeal against order for a trial to be held in camera. These rules were not ultra vires. Even though the . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
The Court considered the procedures when a prisoner is kept in solitary confinement, otherwise described as ‘segregation’ or ‘removal from association’, and principally whether decisions to keep the appellants in segregation for substantial periods . .
A non-disclosure order was not necessary to found an application for contempt where the applicant had not made any personal enquiries as to the existence of such an order. . .
The respondent admitted contempt in its article about a man awaiting trial for a notorious murder in Bradford. The court considered the appropriate penalty. The defendant had intended to apply for a stay of the proceedings as an abuse. The paper had . .
The newspaper said that a finding against it of contempt of court for publishing material derived from a jury’s deliberations infringed its rights of free speech.
Held: The complaint was declared inadmissible. ‘The Commission agrees with the . .
Application by Her Majesty’s Attorney General for an order committing the respondent to prison for contempt of court. . .
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 Attorney-General sought to restrain the publication of a book which she said would prejudice the defendants in a forthcoming criminal trial. The publisher said that a restraint would be a disproportionate interference in its Article 10 rights. . .
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 . .
Counsel for the prosecution had a duty to consider and advise the court in respect of applications regarding non-reporting orders, in particular as to whether excess adverse publicity might operate to make a trial unfair and a conviction unsafe. . .
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. . .
Where part of a sentence for contempt was suspended, and the defendant failed to meet the condition required for continued suspension, the court was not under an obligation to make the suspended part operative. . .
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 . .
The claimant was involved in takeover proceedings. Certain confidential documents were taken, doctored, and released to and published by the defendants who now resisted orders for disclosure of the source.
Held: The court must balance the . .
A possession action was lawful against a remaining joint tenant after a notice to terminate the tenancy had been given by the other tenant. An order against interference with possession of property did not extend to matters of the duration of the . .
Complaint was made that the defendant newspapers had caused a serious prejudice to a trial by articles published before the trial of the defendant in criminal proceedings. The defendant pleaded guilty to theft at the magistrates’ court after she had . .
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, . .
Enquiries as to jurors views were only to be conducted with the court’s consent. . .
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 . .
Human rights law is no aid in protecting a journalist against an order requiring the return of confidential documents, even though this might identify the source of leak. . .
The name of a person with a notifiable disease could be withheld pending an appeal, but any anonymity given by court to party must end when it would not be needed for the purposes of justice. The power to make an order under s.11 must be exercised . .
A complaint of contempt of court was defeated by a deal in the trial which had worked to reduce any risk of prejudice. . .
The harassment of a juror could take place even after a trial had finished and it remained a contempt of court. . .
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 appellants had challenged the lawfulness of being stopped and searched by police. The officers relied on an authorisation made under the 2000 Act. They had been on their way to attending an arms fair, intending to demonstrate.
Held: The . .
The prisoner complained that having written an autobiography, the manuscript materials had been withheld, and that this interfered with his rights of freedom of expression.
Held: Such an action by the prison authorities was not incompatible . .
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 . .
This appeal raises a question concerned with the protection from disclosure of confidential journalistic sources enjoyed by publishers under section 10 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981. . .
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 . .
Damages were awarded for a breach of statutory duty where the claimant had suffered loss or damage by reason of the breach. The publication at issue went beyond reporting and ‘it reached deeply into the substance of the matter which the court had . .