Attorney-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 impact may both be affected, in differing degrees according to the circumstances, by the nature and form of the publication and how long it occurred before trial. Much depends on the combination of circumstances in the case in question and the court’s own assessment of their likely effect at the time of publication. This is essentially a value judgment for the court, albeit that it must be sure of its judgment before it can find that there has been contempt. There is little value in making detailed comparisons with the facts of other cases.’


Auld LJ


Times 26-Jul-1996, [1997] EMLR 76


Contempt of Court Act 1981


England and Wales


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 . .

Cited by:

CitedAttorney General v Random House Group Ltd QBD 15-Jul-2009
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. . .
CitedAttorney 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: . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Media

Updated: 31 October 2022; Ref: scu.77984