Attorney-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 evidence given and the submissions made in the courtroom, to the exclusion of other sources of information. The words ‘substantial risk’ of prejudice mean ‘not insubstantial’. The test of ‘substantial risk’ and ‘serious prejudice’ are separate but overlapping.


John Donaldson MR, Parker LJJ


[1986] 2 All ER 83, [1987] QB 1


Contempt of Court Act 1981


England and Wales

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 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 . .
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.

Media, Contempt of Court

Updated: 21 July 2022; Ref: scu.424775