Attorney General v Associated Newspapers Ltd and Another: Admn 3 Mar 2011

Complaint was made that the defendant newspapers were in contempt of court in publishing on their respective web-sites showing the defendant in the criminal trial brandishing a gun, and claiming that he was boasting of his involvement.
Held: The defendants were guilty of the offence. The defendant argued that the site was so organised that the picture would only have been available to a juror disregarding the judge’s instructions and seeking out stories on the matter.
Moses LJ observed: ‘The statutory question for this court . . is whether the publication created a substantial risk that the course of justice will be substantially impeded or prejudiced. It is not the statutory question posed by section 2(1)(a) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968, namely whether the conviction was unsafe . . the trust which is placed on juries . . cannot always be relied upon by those whose publications put the prospects of a fair trial at substantial risk.’

Moses LJ, Owen J
[2011] EWHC 418 (Admin), [2011] EMLR 17
Contempt of Court Act 1981
England and Wales
CitedAttorney General v MGN Limited CA 1997
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 . .
CitedAttorney-General v News Group Newspapers Ltd CA 1986
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 . .
CitedAttorney-General v British Broadcasting Corporation; Same v Hat Trick Productions Ltd CA 11-Jun-1996
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 . .

Cited by:
CitedHM Attorney General v MGN Ltd and Another Admn 29-Jul-2011
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Media

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.430284