Hope v Krejci: FD 31 Jan 2014

The wife complained that the husband was in contempt in court in not having transferred to the wife, pursuant to financial remedy orders, two Mercedes motor cars, one of which has a personalised number plate LB01, and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Bodey J
[2014] EWHC B5 (Fam)
Bailii
England and Wales

Family, Contempt of Court

Updated: 01 December 2021; Ref: scu.521961

Wear Valley District Council v Robson: CA 14 Nov 2008

Appeal against a decision finding that the appellant was in contempt of an Anti-social Behaviour Injunction Order made in the Bishop Auckland County Court on 7 October 2008 and committed the appellant to prison for six months.

[2008] EWCA Civ 1470, [2009] HLR 27
Bailii
England and Wales

Housing, Contempt of Court

Updated: 30 November 2021; Ref: scu.279989

Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company (C) and Another v Al-Sayed Bader Hashim Al-Refai and Others: QBD 20 Dec 2013

The defendants sought an order for the committal of officers of the clamant for having failed to comply with court orders and a preservation undertaking, saying that the claimant had destroyed evidence.
Held: The claimants said that such an order was not available where the company’s officers were not within the jurisdiction.

Andrew Smith J
[2013] EWHC 4112 (QB), [2014] WLR(D) 9
Bailii, WLRD
Citing:
See AlsoDar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company v Al Refai and Others ComC 12-Dec-2012
The defendants applied to set aside an earlier order made without notice, saying that the claimants had not make full and frank disclosure and misled the court in their evidence and submissions and had not complied with an associated undertaking to . .

Cited by:
See AlsoDar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company and Another v Al-Sayed Bader Hashim Al Refai and Others ComC 11-Apr-2014
Applications as to management of committal application. Andrew Smith J had ruled in favour of the applicant/defendant that without notice orders made against them should be discharged because the claimants had misled the court and failed to comply . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Natural Justice, Litigation Practice, Contempt of Court

Updated: 28 November 2021; Ref: scu.519768

Dallas v The United Kingdom: ECHR 11 Nov 2013

The applicant challenged her conviction for contempt of court in that whilst a juror, she researched the case before her on the internet, discovering that the defendant had faced an earlier allegation broadly similar. She now said that the conviction orose from failure to follow a direction, not an order. The court set the question for the parties: ‘Did the act of which the applicant was convicted constitute a ‘criminal offence under national law’ at the time when it was committed, for the purposes of Article 7 of the Convention, having regard to the test for contempt of court set out and applied by the Divisional Court in paragraph 38 of its judgment and the test outlined in previous domestic judgment judgments’

38395/12 – Communicated Case, [2013] ECHR 1232, [2014] ECHR 1247
Bailii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights
Citing:
CitedAttorney-General v Sport Newspapers Ltd QBD 24-May-1991
The newspaper was accused of disclosing details of the previous convictions of an absconded suspect in a murder investigation, despite a prior warning from the police that any such publication would be likely to prejudice future criminal . .
CitedSchot and Another, v Regina CACD 12-May-1997
Jurors, after retirement refused to deliver a verdict claiming personal reasons. The were summoned to court to answer charges of contempt of court. Explaining the contempt proceedings that the jurors faced, the trial judge said: ‘[I]n so far as . .
CitedAttorney General v Fraill and Another Admn 16-Jun-2011
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 . .
At AdmnAttorney General v Dallas Admn 23-Jan-2012
The A-G, using RSC Order 52, sought a finding that the defendant was in contempt when, as a juror she had conducted internet research about the case, revealing her results to other jury members.
Held: She was in contempt. She had deliberately . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Contempt of Court

Updated: 26 November 2021; Ref: scu.518835

Makdessi v Cavendish Square Holdings Bv and Another (Commital): CA 26 Nov 2013

Appeal against permission to apply to commit the applicant for alleged contempt.

Patten, Tomlinson, Christopher Clarke LJJ
[2013] EWCA Civ 1540
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
See AlsoCavendish Square Holdings Bv and Another v El Makdessi ComC 14-Dec-2012
The parties disputed whether clauses in a share sale agreement between them amounted to a penalty and as such were rendered unenforeable.
Held: Burton J felt able to escape those constraints, and concluded that the two provisions were valid . .
Appeal fromCavendish Square Holdings Bv and Another v El Makdessi ComC 18-Dec-2012
Consequential matters – application for committal for contempt. . .

Cited by:
See AlsoEl Makdessi v Cavendish Square Holdings Bv and Another CA 26-Nov-2013
The appellants had agreed for the sale of his company by way of a share sale agreement. The price to be paid was to vary accoriding to the operating profits. A large part of the price reflected goodwill. The agreement contained a clause providing . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 26 November 2021; Ref: scu.518422

Committal for Contempt of Court (Practice Guidance – Supplemental): CoP 4 Jun 2013

The court gave additional guidance for the procedures to be adopted in applications for committal for contempt of court, particularly as regards the Court of Protection, and emphasised the need for hearings to be in public.

Sir James Munby, P
[2013] EWHC B7 (COP), [2013] 1 WLR 1753
Bailii

Contempt of Court

Updated: 25 November 2021; Ref: scu.517576

Director of Public Prosecutions v Scarlett: CACD 7 Feb 2000

A defendant subject to a confiscation order in criminal proceedings for drugs related offences could be ordered to repatriate assets from banks accounts held abroad. The absence of an explicit power in this behalf did not prevent the order because of the wide power to make such ancillary orders to ensure compliance with an order as appeared necessary. An additional punishment for contempt for failing to obey was not punishing him twice, and he could purge the contempt if he chose.

Times 07-Feb-2000
England and Wales

Criminal Sentencing, Banking, Contempt of Court

Updated: 23 November 2021; Ref: scu.80043

JSC BTA Bank v Solodchenko and Others: CA 28 Oct 2011

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 reduction or discharge of sentence if he subsequently purges his contempt by complying with the court order in question.

Lord Neuberger MR, Carnwath, Jackson LJJ
[2011] EWCA Civ 1241, [2012] 1 WLR 350, [2012] Lloyd’s Rep FC 77
Bailii
Contempt of Court Act 1981 12
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromJSC BTA Bank v Solodchenko and others ChD 2-Nov-2010
The court consider its sentence on one of the defendants found to be in contempt of court.
Held: Mr Kythreotis was sentenced on the basis that the contempt had been purged, without making any finding as to whether there had been full and . .

Cited by:
CitedNational Highways Ltd v Heyatawin and Others QBD 17-Nov-2021
The court considered allegations of contempt of court by protesters disobeying court injunctions.
Held: The allegations were variously proved, and indeed were largely uncontested. Sentences of imprisonment were imposed ranging up to 6 months: . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 22 November 2021; Ref: scu.448069

Her Majestys Attorney General v Crosland: SC 10 May 2021

Application by Her Majesty’s Attorney General for permission to pursue an application for committal for contempt concerns an alleged breach of an embargo on publication of a judgment of the Supreme Court.
Held: ‘there is no principle which justifies treating the conscientious motives of the protestor as a licence to flout court orders with impunity’

Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Hamblen, Lord Stephens
[2021] UKSC 15, [2021] 4 WLR 103
Bailii, Bailii Press Summary, Bailii Issues and Facts
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedNational Highways Ltd v Heyatawin and Others QBD 17-Nov-2021
The court considered allegations of contempt of court by protesters disobeying court injunctions.
Held: The allegations were variously proved, and indeed were largely uncontested. Sentences of imprisonment were imposed ranging up to 6 months: . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 22 November 2021; Ref: scu.662465

Longhurst Homes Ltd v Killen: CA 11 Mar 2008

Appeal against sentence of nine months for contempt of court. Hughes LJ considered the ‘protective’ effect of continuing to keep the contemnor in prison and thus into whether an order for early discharge would be likely to lead to further breaches of the injunction and thus to compromise the safety of those for whose protection it was devised.
There is no tariff for sanctions for contempt of court, because every case depends on its own facts.

Hughes LJ
[2008] EWCA Civ 402
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedCJ v Flintshire Borough Council CA 15-Apr-2010
The applicant appealed against a refusal to allow his early release from prison having been sentenced to 21 months for contempts of court.
Held: The appeal failed. The court set out eight questions which might be asked before allowing such a . .
CitedNational Highways Ltd v Heyatawin and Others QBD 17-Nov-2021
The court considered allegations of contempt of court by protesters disobeying court injunctions.
Held: The allegations were variously proved, and indeed were largely uncontested. Sentences of imprisonment were imposed ranging up to 6 months: . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Criminal Sentencing

Updated: 22 November 2021; Ref: scu.267227

Secretary of State for Transport and Another v Cuciurean: ChD 16 Oct 2020

Sentencing after finding of contempt.
Held: It is not only the applicant but the court – and, we would add, the public – which has an interest in deterring disobedience to its orders and in upholding the rule of law.

Mr Justice Marcus Smith
[2020] EWHC 2723 (Ch)
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromCuciurean v The Secretary of State for Transport and Another CA 16-Mar-2021
Appeal against findings of contempt of court by breach of an injunction prohibiting trespass on land, and against the sanctions imposed. The breaches were committed as part of a protest against the construction of the HS2 railway line.
Held: . .
CitedNational Highways Ltd v Heyatawin and Others QBD 17-Nov-2021
The court considered allegations of contempt of court by protesters disobeying court injunctions.
Held: The allegations were variously proved, and indeed were largely uncontested. Sentences of imprisonment were imposed ranging up to 6 months: . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 22 November 2021; Ref: scu.655199

Cuciurean v The Secretary of State for Transport and Another: CA 16 Mar 2021

Appeal against findings of contempt of court by breach of an injunction prohibiting trespass on land, and against the sanctions imposed. The breaches were committed as part of a protest against the construction of the HS2 railway line.
Held: Applications to commit for contempt of court in protest cases engage the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly protected under Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. However, where the court has already conducted the necessary balancing process and granted an injunction, that order must be obeyed unless and until it has been set aside.

Lord Justice Warby
[2021] EWCA Civ 357
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromSecretary of State for Transport and Another v Cuciurean ChD 16-Oct-2020
Sentencing after finding of contempt.
Held: It is not only the applicant but the court – and, we would add, the public – which has an interest in deterring disobedience to its orders and in upholding the rule of law. . .

Cited by:
CitedNational Highways Ltd v Heyatawin and Others QBD 17-Nov-2021
The court considered allegations of contempt of court by protesters disobeying court injunctions.
Held: The allegations were variously proved, and indeed were largely uncontested. Sentences of imprisonment were imposed ranging up to 6 months: . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 22 November 2021; Ref: scu.659567

National Highways Ltd v Heyatawin and Others: QBD 17 Nov 2021

The court considered allegations of contempt of court by protesters disobeying court injunctions.
Held: The allegations were variously proved, and indeed were largely uncontested. Sentences of imprisonment were imposed ranging up to 6 months: ‘By deliberately defying the M25 Order, these defendants broke the social contract under which in a democratic society the public can properly be expected to tolerate peaceful protest. This was bound to give rise to frustration and anger, which carried with it the prospect that the defendants’ own safety and the safety of others would be put at risk; and that members of the community might take the law into their own hands in trying to deal with the disruption the protest had caused. We consider this a proper inference to draw from all the evidence we have seen, including the proximity of the protestors to heavy traffic at a busy time of day before the police arrived and the attempts of some of the defendants to go back into the road when traffic started flowing again.’

Dame Victoria Sharp P
[2021] EWHC 3078 (QB)
Bailii, Judiciary
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedSecretary of State for Transport and Another v Cuciurean ChD 16-Oct-2020
Sentencing after finding of contempt.
Held: It is not only the applicant but the court – and, we would add, the public – which has an interest in deterring disobedience to its orders and in upholding the rule of law. . .
CitedCuciurean v The Secretary of State for Transport and Another CA 16-Mar-2021
Appeal against findings of contempt of court by breach of an injunction prohibiting trespass on land, and against the sanctions imposed. The breaches were committed as part of a protest against the construction of the HS2 railway line.
Held: . .
CitedRegina v Jones (Margaret), Regina v Milling and others HL 29-Mar-2006
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 . .
CitedLonghurst Homes Ltd v Killen CA 11-Mar-2008
Appeal against sentence of nine months for contempt of court. Hughes LJ considered the ‘protective’ effect of continuing to keep the contemnor in prison and thus into whether an order for early discharge would be likely to lead to further breaches . .
CitedJSC BTA Bank v Solodchenko and Others CA 28-Oct-2011
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 . .
CitedRoberts and Others v Regina CACD 6-Dec-2018
Sentencing of Political Protesters
The defendants appealed against sentences for causing a public nuisance. They had been protesting against fracking by climbing aboard a lorry and blocking a main road for several days.
Held: The appeals from immediate custodial sentences were . .
CitedHer Majestys Attorney General v Crosland SC 10-May-2021
Application by Her Majesty’s Attorney General for permission to pursue an application for committal for contempt concerns an alleged breach of an embargo on publication of a judgment of the Supreme Court.
Held: ‘there is no principle which . .

Cited by:
Main judgmentNational Highways Ltd v Heyatawin and Others (Costs) QBD 18-Nov-2021
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 22 November 2021; Ref: scu.669942

Money v AB: ChD 10 Nov 2021

Anonymity – balance in favour of open justice

Ruling on an application by the Defendant for anonymity.
Held: Refused: ‘The mental health condition of the Defendant and the impact of the judgment on his family relationships are, therefore, relevant factors to take into account, but they do not of themselves mean that anonymity should be granted. Rather, it is necessary to consider all of the circumstances of the case, and balance the competing interests of the Defendant, on the one hand, and the public interest in open justice, on the other.’

Mrs Justice Bacon
[2021] EWHC 2999 (Ch)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedIn re S (a Child) (Identification: Restrictions on Publication) HL 28-Oct-2004
Inherent High Court power may restrain Publicity
The claimant child’s mother was to be tried for the murder of his brother by poisoning with salt. It was feared that the publicity which would normally attend a trial, would be damaging to S, and an application was made for reporting restrictions to . .
CitedHM Revenue and Customs v Banerjee (No 2) ChD 19-Jun-2009
The court was asked whether the taxpayer dermatologist could deduct the expenses of attending educational courses, conferences and meetings, including associated costs of travel and accommodation.
Held: She could.
The defendant requested . .
CitedMX v Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust and Others CA 17-Feb-2015
Application was made for approval of a compromise of a claim for damages for personal injury for the child. The court now considered whether an order should be made to protect the identity of the six year old claimant.
Held: An order should . .
CitedImam, Regina (on The Application of) v The London Borough of Croydon Admn 26-Mar-2021
Conditions for Anonymity Orders
The claimant sought judicial review of the Defendant’s failure to provide suitable accommodation under its duty under section 193(2) of the 1996 Act. The Defendant admitted breach of its statutory duty because the accommodation that it was providing . .
CitedXXX v Camden London Borough Council CA 11-Nov-2020
Anonymity in Court Proceedings – No two stage test
XXX appealed against the refusal to make orders anonymising her name and redacting certain details from published judgments. The appeal raised a point about the proper approach to applications for anonymisation under CPR 39.2. She brought . .
CitedZeromska-Smith v United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust QBD 8-Mar-2019
The Claimant sought damages for psychiatric injury arising out of the stillbirth of her daughter, and contended that if distressing details about the stillbirth and her subsequent mental illness were publicly reported, then that would further damage . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Contempt of Court

Updated: 20 November 2021; Ref: scu.669820

HM Attorney General v Davey: Admn 29 Jul 2013

The Attorney general sought the committal of the defendants for contempt of court alleging their misbehaviour as jurors. One had posted to a facebook account about the trial and lied about it to the judge. The second, in a different trial, had researched the internet about allegations against the defendants not put to the jury.
Held: Both defendants were guilty of contempt.
There were however inconsistencies in the directions given and this was a matter which might be taken up by the Rules Committee.

Sir James Munby P, Sweeney J
[2013] EWHC 2317 (Admin)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedAttorney-General v Newspaper Publishing plc CA 1987
The court explained the common law basis of the law of contempt of court. Lloyd LJ said: ‘Since the test of contempt is not a breach of the order but interference with the administration of justice, it follows that at common law a contempt may be . .
CitedAttorney-General v Times Newspapers Ltd HL 1991
Injunctions had been granted to preserve the status quo in proceedings brought to prevent the publication of the book ‘Spycatcher’. The defendants published extracts, and now appealed a finding that they had acted in contempt.
Held: The . .
CitedAttorney General v Dallas Admn 23-Jan-2012
The A-G, using RSC Order 52, sought a finding that the defendant was in contempt when, as a juror she had conducted internet research about the case, revealing her results to other jury members.
Held: She was in contempt. She had deliberately . .

Cited by:
CitedHM Solicitor General v Cox and Another QBD 27-May-2016
Applications for committal of the defendants for having taken photographs of court proceedings when their friend was being sentenced for murder and publishing them on Facebook. The SG urged that the offences had aggravating features taking the . .
CitedHM Solicitor General v Cox and Another QBD 27-May-2016
Applications for committal of the defendants for having taken photographs of court proceedings when their friend was being sentenced for murder and publishing them on Facebook. The SG urged that the offences had aggravating features taking the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 17 November 2021; Ref: scu.513743

JSC BTA Bank v Ereshchenko (2): CA 4 Jul 2013

The bank appealed against a finding, on its application for the committal of the defendant for contempt of court on an allegation that he had given dishonest evidence, that it had not been proved that he had in fact done so.
Held: The appeal failed.

Lloyd, Elias, Beatson LJJ
[2013] EWCA Civ 1961, [2013] EWCA Civ 829
Bailii, Bailii
England and Wales

Contempt of Court

Updated: 17 November 2021; Ref: scu.513696

West v Taylor-Duncan: Admn 18 Jul 2013

The claimant sought leave to bring committal proceeedings, alleging a contempt of court by the defendant police officer in filing what he said was a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.

Griffith Williams J
[2013] EWHC 2163 (QB) (Admin)
Bailii

Police, Contempt of Court

Updated: 17 November 2021; Ref: scu.513529

Attorney-General v Newspaper Publishing plc: CA 1987

The court explained the common law basis of the law of contempt of court. Lloyd LJ said: ‘Since the test of contempt is not a breach of the order but interference with the administration of justice, it follows that at common law a contempt may be committed if no specific order has been made by the court affecting anyone other than those involved in the proceedings. At common law, if the court makes an order regulating its own procedure and the purpose of the order is plainly to protect the administration of justice, then anyone who subverts that order will be guilty of contempt’.
There was no room for a state of mind which fell short of intention. Lloyd LJ said: ‘ . . that intent may exist, even though there is no desire to interfere with the course of justice. Nor need it be the sole intent. It may be inferred, even though there is no overt proof. The more obvious the interference with the course of justice, the more readily will the requisite intent be inferred.’
Sir Donaldson said of an application for contempt against a third party that: ‘I should like to emphasise with all the power at my command that this case is not primarily about national security or official secrets. It is about the right of private citizens and public authorities to seek and obtain the protection of the courts for confidential information which they claim to be their property’
Lord Donaldson MR set out the intent required to be shown: ‘. . the power of the court to commit for contempt where the conduct complained of is specifically intended to impede or prejudice the administration of justice. Such an intent need not be expressly avowed or admitted, but can be inferred from all the circumstances, including the foreseeability of the consequences of the conduct. Nor need it be the sole intention of the contemnor. An intent is to be distinguished from motive or desire . .’

Lloyd LJ, Lord Donaldson MR
[1988] Ch 333, [1987] 3 All ER 276, [1987] 3 WLR 942
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedX and Y v Persons Unknown QBD 8-Nov-2006
The claimants sought an injunction against unknown persons who were said to have divulged confidential matters to newspapers. The order had been served on newspapers who now complained that the order was too uncertain to allow them to know how to . .
CitedSteen v Her Majesty’s Attorney General; Attorney-General v Punch Ltd and Another CA 23-Mar-2001
The appellant appealed against a finding of contempt of court at common law as regards a report in Punch published when he had been its editor.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The A-G had failed to establish the mens rea of contempt in the . .
CitedHM Attorney General v Davey Admn 29-Jul-2013
The Attorney general sought the committal of the defendants for contempt of court alleging their misbehaviour as jurors. One had posted to a facebook account about the trial and lied about it to the judge. The second, in a different trial, had . .
CitedHM Solicitor General v Cox and Another QBD 27-May-2016
Applications for committal of the defendants for having taken photographs of court proceedings when their friend was being sentenced for murder and publishing them on Facebook. The SG urged that the offences had aggravating features taking the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Media, Contempt of Court

Updated: 16 November 2021; Ref: scu.245989

Airbus Operations Ltd v QBE Insurance Company (UK) Ltd and Another: Admn 14 Dec 2012

The defendants sought to have the claimant committed for contempt, alleging that in exaggerating his symptoms, he had sought to inflate the amount of his damages claim.
Held: Contempt was found. Some of the allegations were found to have been proved. He had delliberately misled the doctors as to the extent of his medical condition: ‘there can be no doubt that it [his behaviour] was intended to persuade the court to find that he was seriously and permanently disabled and to award him damages to which he was not properly entitled. Had it not been for the surveillance evidence, it is very likely that that statement, supported by what he had told the doctors, would have led to his being awarded a substantial sum in damages to which he was not entitled. We therefore find that the defendant was in contempt of court in making a statement which he knew to be false with a view to influencing the outcome of the proceedings.’

Moore-Bick LJ, Cranston J
[2012] EWHC 3631 (Admin)
Bailii
Citing:
CitedIn re Bramblevale Ltd 1970
For reasons of policy or pragmatism, the actual criminal standard of proof may be used in civil proceedings such as contempt of court. Contempt of court is a criminal offence. Accordingly, the burden of proving that the defendant is in contempt . .
CitedFairclough Homes Ltd v Summers SC 27-Jun-2012
The respondent had made a personal injury claim, but had then been discovered to have wildly and dishonestly exaggerated the damages claim. The defendant argued that the court should hand down some condign form of punishment, and appealed against . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Contempt of Court

Updated: 12 November 2021; Ref: scu.510727

Murray v Robinson: CA 12 Jul 2005

M appealed from findings that he had been in contempt of court for three breaches of non-molestation injunctions.
Held: In this area, as in other areas, imprisonment needs to be reserved for those cases where imprisonment is necessary. It must be appreciated that there are other ways of dealing with problems of the sort that occur in the breakdown of a family relationship where imprisonment will not provide a long-term solution.

The Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ
[2005] EWCA Civ 935
Bailii
Constitutional Reform Act 2005
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedHead v Orrow CA 16-Dec-2004
A court asked to sentence for contempt of court is not sentencing for the criminal equivalent of what the contemnor has done, and ‘Great care must be taken, if there are concurrent criminal or civil proceedings, to ensure that sentences in two or . .
CitedLomas v Parle CA 18-Dec-2003
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 . .
CitedRegina v Liddle and Hayes CACD 24-May-1999
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 . .
CitedLomas v Parle CA 18-Dec-2003
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 . .
ApprovedHale v Tanner CA 20-Jul-2000
Hale LJ identified the general considerations that should be applied when sentencing for contempt. She also identified the purpose of sentencing. She identified the special considerations that are relevant in the context of family cases: ‘Family . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Criminal Sentencing

Updated: 12 November 2021; Ref: scu.408808

Sheffield City Council v Brooke: QBD 21 Jun 2018

The defendant was accused of having in breach of a court order entered a restricted zone established to allow the felling of trees in Sheffield. He raised the defence that he had done so in order to defend another protester from an anticipated assault by a security worker, and this despite there being present police officers to keep the peace.
Held: Whilst care was to be taken to establish it on the facts, the defence would exist in law.

Males J
[2018] EWHC 1540 (QB), [2018] WLR(D) 384, [2018] 3 WLR 791
Bailii, WLRD
England and Wales

Contempt of Court

Updated: 12 November 2021; Ref: scu.620074

Grisbrook v MGN Ltd and Others: ChD 16 Oct 2009

The claimant sought an order committing officers of the defendant company for having failed to obey a court order requiring the defendant to cease infrigement of his copyright in photographs. He operated as a photographer of celebrities selling photographs to newspapers. There was no formal agreement between the parties for the use of his photographs. After the compromise of a court action many of his photographs had been removed from the defendant’s photo library, but the defendant continued to publish them on its web-site, and on the front pages of older editions offered for sale. The defendant denied that electronic reproduction of front page infringed the claimant’s right.
Held: Committal was refused, but a declaration granted. The license granted must allow the newspapers to manage storage of old editions, including electronic storage of them. This was in essence a contractual dispute as to the terms of the licence granted by the claimant, and such disputes were not best resolved by the use of committal proceedings.
A respondent who on advice and in good faith maintains that the conduct complained of does not amount to an infringement should not ordinarily be penalised by a fine or sequestration in the event of failure merely because the applicant has chosen to use committal proceedings rather than to bring an ordinary claim in order to resolve the infringement issue.

Patten LJ
[2009] EWHC 2520 (Ch), [2011] ECDR 4, [2011] Bus LR 599
Bailii
Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 17(2)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedRobin Ray v Classic FM Plc PatC 18-Mar-1998
Contractor and Client Copyrights
The plaintiff had contributed a design for a system of classifying and selecting tracks to be played on a radio station. He did so under a consultancy contract.
Held: A Joint authorship claim required that the contributor had made some direct . .
CitedAttorney General of Belize and others v Belize Telecom Ltd and Another PC 18-Mar-2009
(Belize) A company had been formed to manage telecommunications in Belize. The parties disputed the interpretation of its articles. Shares had been sold, but the company was structured so as to leave a degree of control with the government. It was . .
CitedAshdown v Telegraph Group Ltd CA 18-Jul-2001
The appellant complained that a part of his confidential diaries had been republished without his consent by the defendant newspaper group. The defendant appealed, saying that the publication was fair dealing.
Held: The exceptions within the . .
CitedMultiform Displays v Whitmarley Displays CA 1956
Though contempt proceedings must remain a possibility whilst any injunction is running, this procedure is an undesirable and highly inconvenient way of resolving patent infringement disputes. . .
CitedRobertson v Thomson Corporation 12-Oct-2006
CSC (Supreme Court of Canada) Intellectual property – Copyright – Infringement – Right to reproduce work – Newspaper publishers reproducing in databases and CD-ROMs articles by freelance and staff writers . .
CitedMultiform Displays v Whitmarley Displays HL 1957
The claimant appealed against refusal of a committal order to enforce a court order in patent infringement proceedings.
Held: Viscount Simonds said: ‘Thus it is, my Lords, that upon what was a motion for sequestration and committal your . .
CitedDyson Appliances Ltd v Hoover Ltd PatC 5-Apr-2001
The claimant had obtained injunctive relief against the defendant for patent infringement. Only twelve months of the patent remained, and the claimants applied for an extension of the injunction twelve months beyond the patent expiry, and for other . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Intellectual Property

Updated: 12 November 2021; Ref: scu.376149

Office of Fair Trading v Miller: CA 3 Feb 2009

Order must be clear to found contempt charge

The defendant appealed against a finding of contempt of court after being found to have sold defective kitchen equipment in breach of a stop order. The defendant had been previously committed for breach of the same order, and released on his undertakings.
Held: The Order should have made it clear that it was limited to infringements of the Directive, namely the causing of harm to the collective interests of consumers. Proof of such a breach was required, whether of one or more acts. To the extent required, leave to appeal was granted.

Sedley LJ, Arden LJ, Moore-Bick LJ
[2009] EWCA Civ 34
Bailii
Fair Trading Act 1973, Stop Now Orders (EC Directive) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001 No 1422)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedThe Government of Sierra Leone v Davenport and others CA 2002
An application was made to commit a defendant for contempt of court in failing to comply with parts of a court order.
Held: He was found to have been in contempt but the failure had been cured and no penalty beyond costs was imposed on him. . .
CitedLondon Borough of Barnet v Hurst CA 17-Jul-2002
The applicant had been sentenced to nine months imprisonment for having broken his undertaking to the Court. He appealed against that sentence. The other party also sought to appeal other parts of the order.
Held: An appeal limited to the . .
CitedOffice of Fair Trading v MB Designs (Scotland) Limited Martin Black Paul Bradley Bett OHCS 29-Jun-2005
The Office sought an order to enforce obligations under the 2002 Act against a trader. He argued that some of the acts complained of preceded the coming into force of the Act.
Held: The Act sought to protect the interests of consumers in . .
CitedFairclough and Sons v The Manchester Ship Canal Co CA 1897
The court considered the remedies for a contempt of court.
Held: Lord Russell CJ said: ‘We desire to make it clear that in such cases no casual or accidental and unintentional disobedience of an Order would justify either a commitment or . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Consumer, Contempt of Court

Updated: 12 November 2021; Ref: scu.280418

Goodwin v News Group Newspapers Ltd: QBD 27 May 2011

An associated claimant alleged contempt against another newspaper for publishing matters so as to defeat the purposes of a privacy injunction granted to her.
Held: Even though the principle claimant had been subsequenty identified with the consent of the court, the order as regards the second claimant remained in place. It was said that the Daily Mail’s article released many items of further information to identify her. False information deliberately given had other purposes, and in practice had also been damaging. However, there no purpose would be served in the court referring the matter to the Attorney-General for contempt. The claimant herself had this power, and the A-G had power to act of his own motion.

Tugendhat J
[2011] EWHC 1341 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
See AlsoMNB v News Group Newspapers Ltd QBD 9-Mar-2011
The defendant resisted an order preventing disclosure of information said by the claimant to be private.
Held: At the start of the hearing before herself, she had been told that the application for an interim injunction was no longer opposed. . .
CitedLord Browne of Madingley v Associated Newspapers Ltd CA 3-Apr-2007
The appellant sought to restrict publication by the defendants in the Mail on Sunday of matters which he said were a breach of confidence. He had lied to a court in giving evidence, whilst at the same time being ready to trash the reputation of his . .
See AlsoGoodwin v News Group Newspapers Ltd QBD 23-May-2011
The claimant had obtained orders restricting publication by the defendant of stories of his relationship with a woman. The order had also restrained publication of their names. The names had since been revealed under parliamentary prvilege, and the . .

Cited by:
See AlsoGoodwin v NGN Ltd and VBN QBD 9-Jun-2011
goodwin_ngn4QBD11
The claimant had obtained an injunction preventing publication of his name and that of his coworker with whom he had had an affair. After widespread publication of his name elsewhere, the defendant had secured the discharge of the order as regards . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Media, Litigation Practice, Contempt of Court

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.440245

Dallas v The United Kingdom: ECHR 11 Feb 2016

Test for contempt was accessible and foreseeable.

The applicant had been convicted of contempt of court in that whilst acting as a juror, and in defiance of an explicit direction from the judge had researched the defendant in the internet, and passed on her findings to other jurors.
Held: the Divisional Court had decided that a specific intention was required on its understanding of what the common law was. The claim under article 7 was admissible, but that there had been no violation of article 7: ‘the test for contempt of court applied in the applicant’s case was both accessible and foreseeable. The law-making function of the courts remained within reasonable limits: the judgment rendered in her case can be considered, at most, a step in the gradual clarification of the rules of criminal liability for contempt of court through judicial interpretation. Any development of the law was consistent with the essence of the offence and could be reasonably foreseen.’

Mirjana Lazarova Trajkovska, P
38395/12 (Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) : Court (First Section)), [2016] ECHR 174
Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 7
Human Rights
Citing:
At AdmnAttorney General v Dallas Admn 23-Jan-2012
The A-G, using RSC Order 52, sought a finding that the defendant was in contempt when, as a juror she had conducted internet research about the case, revealing her results to other jury members.
Held: She was in contempt. She had deliberately . .
Appeal fromTrail Riders Fellowship and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Dorset County Council and Others CA 20-May-2013
The Fellowship had applied for orders upgrading public rights of way. The council rejected the applications saying that the digital mapping software used to repare the maps submitted were not compliant with the requirements of the legislation. They . .

Cited by:
CitedHM Solicitor General v Cox and Another QBD 27-May-2016
Applications for committal of the defendants for having taken photographs of court proceedings when their friend was being sentenced for murder and publishing them on Facebook. The SG urged that the offences had aggravating features taking the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Contempt of Court

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.559704

CJ v Flintshire Borough Council: CA 15 Apr 2010

The applicant appealed against a refusal to allow his early release from prison having been sentenced to 21 months for contempts of court.
Held: The appeal failed. The court set out eight questions which might be asked before allowing such a release. The judge here had had the benefit of listening to the contemnor, and no significant error had been identified in his reasoning. In particular the judge had not believed his expressions of regret. Unlike a sentence passed in criminal proceedings, a sentence for contempt can be the subject of an application for an order for early discharge, formerly described as an application to purge the contempt.

Sedley LJ, Wilson LJ, Aikens LJ
[2010] EWCA Civ 393, [2010] 2 FLR 1224, [2010] CP Rep 36, [2010] 3 FCR 40, [2010] Fam Law 697
Bailii
Criminal Justice Act 2003 258, Administration of Justice Act 1960 13(1)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedJohnson v Grant SCS 1923
Lord Clyde, the Lord President considered whether the contemnor should be given early release from prison and said: ‘The mere circumstance that he presents a belated expression of contrition has, with regard to the public aspect of the matter, . .
CitedCorcoran v Corcoran 1950
The applicant sought his release from prison imposed for contempt of court saying that having returned the child at issue, he had purged his contempt. . .
CitedLonghurst Homes Ltd v Killen CA 11-Mar-2008
Appeal against sentence of nine months for contempt of court. Hughes LJ considered the ‘protective’ effect of continuing to keep the contemnor in prison and thus into whether an order for early discharge would be likely to lead to further breaches . .
CitedEnfield London Borough Council v Mahoney CA 1983
The contemnor had refused to comply with a court order requiring him to return an ancient cross, the Glastonbury Cross. He now sought his release from prison saying his contempt was purged, the Cross having been returned.
Held: The reasons for . .
CitedLightfoot v Lightfoot CA 1989
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, . .

Cited by:
CitedErhire v E O-I (by his next friend) CA 24-Mar-2011
The mother appealed against a sentence of eight months imprisonment imposed for contempt of court in having broken an order intended to protect the child against being removed to Nigeria with a view to forcing him into a marriage. On complaint of a . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.408542

Re Yaxley-Lennon (Aka Tommy Robinson): CACD 1 Aug 2018

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 to the second, ‘ the failure to follow the requirements of Part 48 of the Rules was much more than a technical failure. In contempt proceedings, touching as they do on the liberty of the subject, there is a need for the contempt in question to be identified with precision and the conduct of the alleged contemnor identified with sufficient particularity to enable him, with the assistance of legal advice, to respond to what is a criminal charge, in all but name. In this case there was no clarity at all about what the appellant was admitting and for what parts of his broadcast he was considered by the judge to be guilty of contempt of court for breach of the section 4(2) order.’
The appeal was allowed and a retrial ordered.
‘the finding of contempt made in Leeds must be quashed because:
(i) It was inappropriate to proceed immediately on the motion of the court to deal with the alleged contempt after immediate steps had been taken to remove the offending video from the internet. An adjournment was necessary to enable the matter to proceed on a fully informed basis; in any event
(ii) The failure to comply with Part 48 of the Rules resulted in there being no clear statement, orally or in writing, of the conduct said to comprise a contempt for contravening the section 4(2) order in place;
(iii) It was unclear what conduct was said to comprise a breach of that order and the appellant was sentenced on the basis of conduct which fell outside the scope of that order;
(iv) The haste with which the contempt proceedings were conducted led to an inability of counsel to mitigate fully on the appellant’s behalf.’

Lord Burnett of Maldon CJ, Turner, McGowan JJ
[2018] EWCA Crim 1856, [2018] WLR(D) 503
Bailii, WLRD
Contempt of Court Act 1981 4(2), Criminal Justice Act 1925 41
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedM v P (Contempt of Court: Committal Order) CA 1992
Orse Butler v Butler
Failure to observe the proper procedures for service is not necessarily fatal to the lawfulness of a committal order. In each of the two appeals against committal orders comma the contemnor complained of non-compliance . .
CitedNicholls v Nicholls CA 20-Dec-1996
The formalities of committal proceedings are to be strictly observed, but a breach of the formalities may be overlooked if it does not affect the justice of the case.
Lord Woolf MR considered the discretion given to a court to commit for . .
CitedFort Locks Self Storage Limited v Deakin CA 2017
. .
CitedRe West CACD 17-Jul-2014
W, a barrister, appealed against a conviction for contempt of court. He had declined to comply with the directions asked of him by the judge at a pre-trial hearing, saying that the client’s instructions that he was not guilty were sufficient. He was . .
CitedRegina v Montgomery CACD 19-Jul-1994
A witness had refused to give evidence, and found to have committed contempt.
Held: Guidelines were given on sentencing for offences of interfering with the course of justice, criminal contempt, refusal to give evidence and so forth.
The . .
CitedHM Attorney General v Harkins Admn 26-Apr-2013
The Attorney General sought the committal for contempt of the respondents who were said to have published details which might identify two notorious convicted criminals wose identties were protected by injunction. Both defendants indicated that they . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.624157

Kirk v Walton: QBD 24 Jul 2008

kirk_waltonQBD2008

The defendant sought leave to bring proceedings for contempt of court against the claimant saying that she had had no honest belief in the matters deposed in her statement of truth, in that she had substantially exaggerated her injuries.
Held: Leave was granted. The court approached the application on the basis ‘that the discretion to grant permission should be exercised with great caution; that there must be a strong prima facie case shown against the Claimant, but that I should be careful not to stray at this stage into the merits of the case; that I should consider whether the public interest requires the committal proceedings to be brought; and that such proceedings must be proportionate and in accordance with the overriding objective’ and ‘the context for this application is a particularised schedule of damages in which, before disclosure of the DVD recordings, this Claimant was seeking to recover over andpound;800,000 in damages from the Defendant’s insurers. The allegations are, in my view, sufficiently serious as to merit such proceedings being brought in the public interest and, having regard to the overriding objective, are proportionate in the circumstances. There is, in my judgment, a strong public interest in personal injury claimants pursuing honest claims before the courts.’

Cox J DBE
[2008] EWHC 1780 (QB), [2009] 1 All ER 257
Bailii
Citing:
CitedMalgar Ltd v R E Leach Engineering Ltd ChD 1-Nov-1999
The Civil Procedure Rules could not change the substantive law. It therefore remained necessary for it to be shown that in addition to knowing that what was said was false, the party had to have known that what was being said was likely to interfere . .
CitedSony Computer Entertainment and Others v. Ball and Others ChD 17-May-2004
Pumfrey J considered the test to be applied when a party applied for leave to commence proceedings for contempt of court against another party: ‘It seems to me, in the light of the judgment in Malgar v. Leach, that the discretion to permit . .

Cited by:
CitedKJM Superbikes Ltd v Hinton CA 20-Nov-2008
The claimant had been sued for the misuse of trademarks by selling motorcycles imported via a parallel market. It claimed that the defendant had filed false evidence in that action, and now appealed a refusal by the judge to bring contempt . .
See AlsoWalton v Kirk QBD 3-Apr-2009
Coulson J considered RSC Order 52 to decide whether he had jurisdiction to hear a complaint of contempt of court arising from statements filed in County Court proceedings and said to be false.
Held: He did have jurisdiction: ‘At the outset of . .
CitedBarnes (T/A Pool Motors) v Seabrook and Others Admn 23-Jul-2010
In each of three cases, the former defendants sought leave to bring claims for contempt of court in respect of what it said were fraudulent claims by the respondents. The defendants argued that a party had first to go to the Attorney General.
CitedStobart Group Ltd and Others v Elliott QBD 11-Apr-2013
The defendant applied to the court for various officers of the cliamant companies to be subject to contempt proceedings. The claimants asked the court to strike of the defendant’s counterclaim and to make a civil restraint order against him. There . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Contempt of Court

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.272257

Graham v Robert Younger Ltd: 1955

The complainer had given an undertaking in proceedings for his sequestration at the instance of Robert Younger Ltd. The company lodged a minute seeking his apprehension for its breach as a contempt of court. The sheriff ordered the apprehension of the complainer and subsequently held that he was in breach of the undertaking and sentenced him to a period of imprisonment. The complainer challenged his imprisonment in a bill of suspension and liberation, which came before the Justiciary Appeal Court.
Held: The Appeal Court remitted the remainder of his sentence, but held that breach of an undertaking would constitute contempt of court.

[1955] JC 28
Scotland
Cited by:
ApprovedBeggs v Scottish Ministers HL 7-Feb-2007
The claimant, a serving prisoner, had sought to sue the prison authorities for the conditions in which he was kept. He complained that his correspondence with his lawyers had been unlwafully opened by the prison. Repeatedly, undertakings were given . .
CitedClarke v Fennoscandia Ltd and others (Scotland) HL 12-Dec-2007
After being awarded costs in proceedings in the US, the defendants chased the claimant for their costs in Scotland. He sought an interdict saying that the judgment had been obtained by fraud. The defendant had give an undertaking not to pursue the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.248819

Daltel Europe Ltd and others v Makki and others: ChD 3 May 2005

Application was made for leave to bring proceedings for contempt of court. David Richards J said that: ‘Allegations that statements of case and witness statements contain deliberately false statements are by no means uncommon and, in a fair number of cases, the allegations are well-founded. If parties thought that they could gain an advantage by singling out these statements and making them the subject of a committal application, the usual process of litigation would be seriously disrupted. In general the proper time for determining the truth or falsity of these statements is at trial, when all the relevant issues of fact are before the court and the statements can be considered against the totality of the evidence. Further, the court will then decide all the issues according to the civil standard of proof and will not be applying the criminal standard to isolated issues, as must happen on an application under CPR Part 32.14.’

David Richards J
[2005] EWHC 749 (Ch)
Bailii
Civil Procedure Rules 32.14
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedBird v Hadkinson ChD 4-Mar-1999
A party ordered to make disclosure in Mareva proceedings, could be found in contempt where the answers given were technically true, but misleading because of their incompleteness. The party has a clear duty to provide full and accurate disclosure. A . .
See AlsoDaltel Europe Ltd (In Liquidation) and Others v Hassan Ali Makki ChD 17-Jun-2004
. .

Cited by:
CitedKJM Superbikes Ltd v Hinton CA 20-Nov-2008
The claimant had been sued for the misuse of trademarks by selling motorcycles imported via a parallel market. It claimed that the defendant had filed false evidence in that action, and now appealed a refusal by the judge to bring contempt . .
See AlsoDaltel Europe Ltd and others v Makki and others ChD 21-Oct-2005
. .
Appeal fromDaltel Europe Ltd and others v Makki and others CA 28-Feb-2006
The defendant had breached freezing orders and had verified statements put before the court without honestly believing them. He now challenged the subsequent contempt proceedings saying that they were criminal within section 25 of the 1988 Act and . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Civil Procedure Rules

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.224548

Jones, Re (Alleged Contempt of Court): FD 21 Aug 2013

The Solicitor General sought the committal of the respondent for alleged contempt of court. There had been repeated litigation between the respondent and her former husband as to whether the children should live in Spain with the father or in Wales with the mother. An order, with penal notice attached requiring the respondent to return the children to Spain, but she had failed to comply.
Held: The Case was not made out and the application failed. However: ‘It is quite clear, in my judgment, that the Law Officers have locus to apply for the committal of an alleged contemnor even if the contempt is civil and involves the breach of an order obtained, as in the present case, by a private individual in the course of proceedings between private individuals. The Law Officers act to safeguard the public interest and the administration of justice.’
However, the order here was not so phrased as to allow committal for its breach: ‘What the order required the mother to do was to: ‘deliver up the children into the care of the father . . at Cardiff Railway Station at no later than 4pm on 12 October 2012.’
Suppose that for some reason she failed to do that. What then did the order require her to do? Deliver the children to the father at Cardiff Railway Station or at some other (and if so what) place? And assuming it was to be at Cardiff Railway Station by what time and on what day? Or was she (to adopt the language of a subsequent proposed order) to return, or cause the return of, the children to the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Spain by no later than a specified date and time? It is simply impossible to say. Speculation founded on uncertainty is no basis upon which anyone can be committed for contempt.’

Sir James Munby P
[2013] EWHC 2579 (Fam), [2014] 1 FLR 852
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedAttorney-General v Times Newspapers Ltd HL 1973
The House considered the bringing of contempt proceedings by the Attorney General.
Held: The Attorney General must prove to the criminal standard of proof that the respondent had committed an act or omission calculated to interfere with or . .
CitedClarke v Chadburn 1984
Megarry VC said: ‘I should add this. Mr Burton made it explicit that he was not seeking to have any penalty imposed on any of the five defendants in respect of disobedience to any of the orders made on 10 July, even though he was founding the . .
EnforcedVenables and Thompson v News Group Newspapers and others QBD 8-Jan-2001
Where it was necessary to protect life, an order could be made to protect the privacy of individuals, by disallowing publication of any material which might identify them. Two youths had been convicted of a notorious murder when they were ten, and . .
CitedHM Attorney General v Harkins Admn 26-Apr-2013
The Attorney General sought the committal for contempt of the respondents who were said to have published details which might identify two notorious convicted criminals wose identties were protected by injunction. Both defendants indicated that they . .
CitedDeodat v Deodat (No 2) CA 9-Jun-1978
In the case of an application for committal for contempt, ‘it is impossible to read implied terms into an order of the court’. . .
CitedBedfordshire Police Constabulary v RU and Another FD 26-Jul-2013
bedfordshire_ruFD072013
The court was asked whether a police force can apply for committal for alleged breach of a forced marriage protection order made under Part 4A of the Family Law Act 1996 when the police were not the applicants who had obtained the relevant order. . .
CitedIn re S-C (Children) v H-C CA 28-Jan-2010
The appellant appealed against an order finding her in contempt of court for breach of a court order. The finding had been made in the absence of the parties. She had reported to the police a distorted version of a medical report in the children . .
CitedTemporal v Temporal 1990
A mandatory order is not enforceable by committal unless it specifies the time for compliance . .
CitedKumari v Jalal CA 15-Oct-1996
A second committal for the breach of a court order requires a new hearing and a new order. When a mandatory order is not complied with there is but a single breach. . .
CitedHeaton’s Transport (St Helen’s) Ltd v Transport and General Workers’ Union HL 1972
Injunctions had been granted against the Trades Unions to prevent them undertaking stike action. Proceedings for contempt were brought against the union after blacking had continued, despite the fact that the union through its national and local . .
CitedAttorney-General v Times Newspapers Ltd HL 1991
Injunctions had been granted to preserve the status quo in proceedings brought to prevent the publication of the book ‘Spycatcher’. The defendants published extracts, and now appealed a finding that they had acted in contempt.
Held: The . .
CitedMiller and Another v Scorey and Others ChD 2-Apr-1996
Using disclosed documents in second action with similar parties may be a contempt, depending significantly upon whether any undertaking, express or implied was given. The court struck out an action where proceedings were commenced in reliance on . .
CitedHammerton v Hammerton CA 23-Mar-2007
The husband appealed against his committal for contempt of a court order in family proceedings. The court had heard the wife’s application for his committal at the same time as his application for contact with the children.
Held: The appeal . .
CitedIn re A (A Child) (Abduction: Contempt) CA 21-Aug-2008
The father apealed against his sentence of committal for contempt of court in the course of children proceedings. During a dispute over residence, he took the child to his family in Syria and returned alone. He had then disobeyed orders requiring . .
CitedRe L-W (Children) (Enforcement and Committal: Contact); CPL v CH-W and Others CA 4-Nov-2010
The father appealed against orders made in the county court in the course of child contact enforcement proceedings. He had residence of the child, but had repeatedly failed to make his son available for contact at the times ordered causing financial . .
CitedRe W (A Child) (Abduction: Committal) CA 17-Aug-2011
If the sentence for an original breach of a court order has expired without compliance on the part of the contemnor – then it is necessary first to make another order specifying another date for compliance, followed, in the event of non-compliance, . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.514461

KJM Superbikes Ltd v Hinton: CA 20 Nov 2008

The claimant had been sued for the misuse of trademarks by selling motorcycles imported via a parallel market. It claimed that the defendant had filed false evidence in that action, and now appealed a refusal by the judge to bring contempt proceedings. The defendant argued that proceedings could only be brought with the consent of the Attorney General.
Held: The claimant’s appeal succeeded. When considering whether to give permission for contempt proceedings to be taken in any particular case the court must have regard to the public interest alone. The judge had not given the witness’s offence due seriousness. He was not in a position when considering leave to consider the potential penalty. ‘The immunity of a witness from proceedings in respect of things said in the course of giving evidence does not extend to immunity from punishment in respect of statements made under oath which are known to be false. A witness who knowingly makes a false statement in the course of giving evidence orally or in an affidavit does not expose himself to an action for damages at the suit of anyone injured as a result, but he does expose himself to the risk of prosecution for perjury and as such is publicly accountable for his attempt to interfere with the course of justice.’ It was incumbent on a party who became aware of an untrue statement to warn the contemnor as soon as possible, and a failure to do so may affect the readiness of the court to grant consent. Though the contemnor lived in Australia, it would be wrong for a witness living abroad to think that he was immune to such proceedings because of that.

Moore-Bick LJ
[2008] EWCA Civ 1280, [2009] 3 All ER 76, [2009] 1 WLR 2406, [2009] CILL 2645
Bailii
Civil Procedure Rules 32.14(2)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedKabushiki Kaisha Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (t/a Sony Computer Entertainment Inc) v Ball and Others ChD 17-May-2004
The claimant sought an order for the defendant to be pursued for contempt of court having filed a statement of truth which was known to be false. . .
CitedMalgar Ltd v R E Leach Engineering Ltd ChD 1-Nov-1999
The Civil Procedure Rules could not change the substantive law. It therefore remained necessary for it to be shown that in addition to knowing that what was said was false, the party had to have known that what was being said was likely to interfere . .
CitedDaltel Europe Ltd and others v Makki and others ChD 3-May-2005
Application was made for leave to bring proceedings for contempt of court. David Richards J said that: ‘Allegations that statements of case and witness statements contain deliberately false statements are by no means uncommon and, in a fair number . .
CitedDaltel Europe Ltd and others v Makki and others CA 28-Feb-2006
The defendant had breached freezing orders and had verified statements put before the court without honestly believing them. He now challenged the subsequent contempt proceedings saying that they were criminal within section 25 of the 1988 Act and . .
CitedKirk v Walton QBD 24-Jul-2008
kirk_waltonQBD2008
The defendant sought leave to bring proceedings for contempt of court against the claimant saying that she had had no honest belief in the matters deposed in her statement of truth, in that she had substantially exaggerated her injuries.
Held: . .

Cited by:
CitedSectorguard Plc v Dienne Plc ChD 3-Nov-2009
The claimant alleged misuse of confidential information in the form of its customer list, and its charges to them. The defendant company was run by former employees of the claimant. A later allegation was made of accessing the defendant’s private . .
CitedBarnes (T/A Pool Motors) v Seabrook and Others Admn 23-Jul-2010
In each of three cases, the former defendants sought leave to bring claims for contempt of court in respect of what it said were fraudulent claims by the respondents. The defendants argued that a party had first to go to the Attorney General.
CitedStobart Group Ltd and Others v Elliott QBD 11-Apr-2013
The defendant applied to the court for various officers of the cliamant companies to be subject to contempt proceedings. The claimants asked the court to strike of the defendant’s counterclaim and to make a civil restraint order against him. There . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Civil Procedure Rules

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.277918

Regina v Socialist Worker Printers and Publishers Ltd, Ex parte Attorney-General: CA 1974

In a blackmail case, the court ordered non publication of the names of the complainants. Thinking they were not bound, the defendants published the names.
Held: The publishers and Mr Michael Foot were held to be in contempt of court in disclosing the names in defiance of the trial judge’s direction. An act of contempt required an intention to do an act calculated to interfere with the due course of justice. The act here was a flagrant affront to the court’s authority. It would result in a reduced confidence of witnesses that they could give evidence wihout fear, and the contempt was made out.
Lord Widgery CJ set out the reasons for giving anonymity to blackmail complainants: ‘all of us concerned in the law know that for more years than any of us can remember it has been a commonplace in blackmail charges for the complainant to be allowed to give his evidence without disclosing his name. That is not out of any feelings of tenderness towards the victim of the blackmail, a man or woman very often who deserves no such consideration at all. The reason why the courts in the past have so often used this device in this type of blackmail case where the complainant has something to hide, is because there is a keen public interest in getting blackmailers convicted and sentenced, and experience shows that grave difficulty may be suffered in getting complainants to come forward unless they are given this kind of protection . . the Crown at this stage had presented a prima facie case of contempt . . because to my mind it is quite evident that if witnesses in blackmail actions are not adequately protected, this could affect the readiness of others to come forward in other cases.’
Even so the public should be admitted to a trial: ‘The great virtue of having the public in our courts is that discipline which the presence of the public imposes upon the court itself. When the court is full of interested members of the public, as indeed one can say it is today, it is bound to have the effect that everybody is more careful about what they do, everyone tries just that little bit harder and there is a disciplinary effect on the court which would be totally lacking if there were no critical members of the public or press present.
When one has an order for trial in camera, all the public and all the press are evicted at one fell swoop and the entire supervision by the public is gone. Where one has a hearing which is open, where the names of the witnesses are withheld, virtually all the desirable features of having the public present are to be seen. The only thing which is kept from their knowledge is the name of the witness.’

Widgery LCJ, Milmo Ackner LJJ
[1975] 1 All ER 142 DG, [1974] 3 WLR 801, [1975] QB 637
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedAttorney-General v Leveller Magazine Ltd HL 1-Feb-1979
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 . .
CitedIndependent Publishing Company Limited v The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, The Director of Public Prosecutions PC 8-Jun-2004
PC (Trinidad and Tobago) The newspapers had been accused of contempt of court having reported matters in breach of court orders, and the editors committed to prison after a summary hearing: ‘In deciding whether . .
CitedRegina v Murphy and Another CANI 1990
The two defendants were tried for the murder of two British Army corporals. The prosecution adduced the evidence of a number of television journalists who, in the course of their work, had filmed the scene of the killing. The judge gave leave that . .
CitedRegina v Davis HL 18-Jun-2008
The defendant had been tried for the murder of two men by shooting them at a party. He was identified as the murderer by three witnesses who had been permitted to give evidence anonymously, from behind screens, because they had refused, out of fear, . .
CitedAMM v HXW QBD 7-Oct-2010
amm_hxwQBD10
The claimant had sought and been granted an injunction to prevent the defendant publicising matters which had passed between them and which were he said private.
Held: The jurisdiction to grant such injunctions was now established. Publication . .
CitedAM v United Kingdom ECHR 2-Dec-1992
The applicant complained that at his trial in 1988 for the murder of two British soldiers in Befast, the judge had allowed the cameramen upon whose film evidence he had been convicted to be hidden from the view of the defendants. The court . .
CitedA v British Broadcasting Corporation (Scotland) SC 8-May-2014
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 . .
CitedPNM v Times Newspapers Ltd and Others SC 19-Jul-2017
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Media

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.182814

HM Attorney General v Harkins: Admn 26 Apr 2013

The Attorney General sought the committal for contempt of the respondents who were said to have published details which might identify two notorious convicted criminals wose identties were protected by injunction. Both defendants indicated that they knew of the prohibition.
Held: ‘We must also take into account the very serious nature of publication on a social media or otherwise on the internet. We have already set out the potential – and in fact in one case the actuality – of the very widespread use of the information that was placed by them onto the internet. The social media can reach very many people, as this case shows. Therefore the conduct of anyone who publishes such information – whether it be on the social media or elsewhere on the internet – has that very serious consequence. ‘ Orders of imprisonment were made, but each was suspended for the personal mitigations of the defendans.

Sir John Thomas P, Tugendhat J
[2013] EWHC 1455 (Admin), [2013] All ER (D) 215 (Apr)
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedJones, Re (Alleged Contempt of Court) FD 21-Aug-2013
The Solicitor General sought the committal of the respondent for alleged contempt of court. There had been repeated litigation between the respondent and her former husband as to whether the children should live in Spain with the father or in Wales . .
CitedRe Yaxley-Lennon (Aka Tommy Robinson) CACD 1-Aug-2018
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.510191

Attorney-General v Guardian Newspapers Ltd: QBD 1988

A Mr Peter Wright had written a book about his service in MI5. The Crown sought to restrain publication of the book by newspapers and also, as against The Sunday Times, an account of profits.
Held: As to this latter Scott J, said: ‘I had supposed that the claim against ‘The Sunday Times’ for an account would be based on the proposition that in equity the Crown should be treated as the owner of the copyright. Prima facie, this approach would seem to have some merit. If Mr. Wright in writing the book was acting in breach of a continuing duty of confidence and fidelity that he owed to the Crown, there would, in my view, be a strong argument for regarding the product of the breach of duty as belonging in equity to the Crown. If that were so, and on the footing that ‘The Sunday Times’ could not claim to be a bona fide purchaser without notice of the Crown’s equity, it would follow that ‘The Sunday Times’ would be accountable to the Crown for any profit it made in serialising Spycatcher. It would also follow that the Crown would, in this jurisdiction at least, be entitled to prevent further publication of the book by anyone who could be shown to be on notice of the Crown’s equity. The Crown would be entitled to do so on straightforward proprietary grounds. The equitable owner of copyright in a book can choose to suppress the book and forego any profit therefrom if he chooses’.

Scott J
[1988] 2 WLR 805
England and Wales
Citing:
See AlsoAttorney General v Guardian Newspapers Ltd (No.1) HL 13-Aug-1987
A retired secret service officer intended to publish his memoirs through the defendant. The house heard an appeal against a temporary injunction restraining publication.
Held: Lord Bridge delivered his dissenting speech in the case of . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromAttorney-General v Guardian Newspapers Ltd CA 2-Jan-1988
A former employee of the Secret Service had written a book (‘Spycatcher’). The AG sought several remedies including damages against a newspaper for serialising it. Dillon LJ said: ‘It has seemed to me throughout the hearing of this appeal that there . .
At First InstanceAttorney-General v Guardian Newspapers Ltd (No 2) (‘Spycatcher’) HL 13-Oct-1988
Loss of Confidentiality Protection – public domain
A retired secret service employee sought to publish his memoirs from Australia. The British government sought to restrain publication there, and the defendants sought to report those proceedings, which would involve publication of the allegations . .
CitedTwentieth Century Fox Film Corp and Others v Harris and Others ChD 5-Feb-2013
The court was asked whether a copyright owner has a proprietary claim to money derived from infringement of the copyright.
Held: He did not. No such argument could be shown to have suceeded before. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Media, Contempt of Court, Damages, Equity

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.473039

Commission for Equality and Human Rights v Griffin and Others: Admn 17 Dec 2010

An action against the defendant as chairman of the British National Party had been settled in January 2010 on the basis of an undertaking from him that the constitution of the Party would be amended to comply with the requirements of the 2006 Act. Though the defendant had issued an amendment, the Commission now complained that it had not been effective as an amendment.
Held: There were two possible interpretations of the order and it was wrong to seek committal where one such meaning might leave the defendant compliant. The case and been presented, argued, and settled on a narrower basis than that now sought to be used by the Commission. The application failed, though the court emphasisied that its decision was restricted to assessing compliance by the defendant with the order made, and not with the 2006 Act.

Moore-Bick LJ, Ramsey J
[2010] EWHC 3343 (Admin)
Bailii
Equality Act 2006
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedRedwing Ltd v Redwing Forest Products Ltd 1947
The court was asked as to an alleged breach of an undertaking given by the defendant not to advertise or offer for sale any products as ‘Redwing’ products so as to be liable to lead to the belief that they were the plaintiff’s.
Held: The court . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Discrimination, Contempt of Court

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.427283

Regina v Young (Stephen): CACD 30 Dec 1994

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, it was reported that the deceased had named the accused as the murderer. A jury member had disclosed this, concerned at the result. The defendant appealed.
Held: There had been a material irregularity. An enquiry into the jury’s activities after retirement whilst at a hotel were permitted. It was an enquiry relating to events outside the jury room itself, and did not relate to their deliberations. The court noted that there were some cases in which possible extrinsic influences on a jury in retirement had been investigated by the court, and felt able to investigate what was alleged to have happened overnight when the jury was accommodated in a hotel. The period in the hotel was held not to form part of the ‘deliberations’ for the section, so a carefully circumscribed investigation was possible without contravening the provisions of the Act.
Lord Taylor of Gosforth CJ said: ‘We concluded having heard all the arguments that we were entitled to inquire into what happened at the hotel but not as to what happened thereafter in the jury room. Accordingly we ordered that affidavits should be taken from each of the 12 jurors and from the two bailiffs looking after them at the hotel. We asked the Treasury Solicitor to take charge of the inquiry in conjunction with a senior police officer of at least the rank of chief inspector. We required the affidavits to cover what if anything happened at the hotel, but not to breach section 8 of the Act of 1981 by trespassing on what happened during the jury’s deliberations in their retiring room’ and ‘Having considered all the circumstances, we concluded there was a real danger that what occurred during this misguided ouija session may have influenced some jurors and may thereby have prejudiced the appellant. For those reasons we allowed the appeal but ordered a retrial.’

Lord Taylor of Gosforth CJ
Gazette 08-Feb-1995, Times 30-Dec-1994, Ind Summary 16-Jan-1995, (1995) 2 Cr App R 379, [1995] QB 324, [1995] 2 WLR 430
Contempt of Court Act 1981 8(1)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedRegina v Thompson CCA 1962
There was tendered to the court what appeared to be a statement from a juror asserting that a majority of the jury had been ready to acquit until the foreman read out a list of the previous convictions of the accused.
Held: ‘This court is now . .
CitedRegina v Bean 1991
Jury – Enquiry . .
CitedRegina v Less CA 30-Mar-1993
There was disquiet over a jurors’ discussion with the defendant after a trial.
Held: No enquiry was proper. . .

Cited by:
CitedRegina v BM and Another CACD 9-Dec-1996
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 . .
CitedRegina v Connor and another; Regina v Mirza HL 22-Jan-2004
The defendants sought an enquiry as to events in the jury rooms on their trials. They said that the secrecy of a jury’s deliberations did not fit the human right to a fair trial. In one case, it was said that jurors believed that the defendant’s use . .
CitedRegina v Millward CACD 7-Apr-1998
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 . .
CitedPintori, Regina v CACD 13-Jul-2007
The defendant appealed his conviction for possession of class A drugs, saying that the drugs found had belonged to somebody who had stayed at his flat whilst he had been away. One of the jurors later told a police officer that she had known through . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Criminal Practice

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.88365

Ashworth Security Hospital v MGN Limited: HL 27 Jun 2002

Order for Journalist to Disclose Sources

The newspaper published details of the medical records of Ian Brady, a prisoner and patient of the applicant. The applicant sought an order requiring the defendant newspaper to disclose the identity of the source of material which appeared to have originated in the hospital.
Held: An order requiring disclosure of the source of information does not depend on the commission of a tort, or other wrong by the person against whom the order is sought. It is necessary and sufficient that that person should be shown to have participated in the wrongdoing on which the application is based. There need not be an intention to begin proceedings against the source for the exemption under section 10 to apply. Protection of journalistic sources is one of the basic conditions for press freedom, and should not be set aside without an overriding requirement in the public interest. The approach is the same for section 10 of the Act and article 10 of the Convention.

Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Browne-Wilkinson Lord Woolf Lord Nolan Lord Hobhouse of Wood-Borough
Times 01-Jul-2002, Gazette 01-Aug-2002, [2002] UKHL 29, [2002] 1 WLR 2033, 12 BHRC 443, [2003] FSR 17, [2002] CPLR 712, [2002] UKHRR 1263, [2002] EMLR 36, (2002) 67 BMLR 175, [2002] HRLR 41, [2002] 4 All ER 193
House of Lords, Bailii
Contempt of Court Act 1981 10, European Convention on Human Rights 10
England and Wales
Citing:
AppliedNorwich Pharmacal Co and others v Customs and Excise Commissioners HL 26-Jun-1973
Innocent third Party May still have duty to assist
The plaintiffs sought discovery from the defendants of documents received by them innocently in the exercise of their statutory functions. They sought to identify people who had been importing drugs unlawfully manufactured in breach of their . .
CitedBritish Steel Corporation v Granada Television Ltd HL 7-May-1980
The defendant had broadcast a TV programme using material confidential to the plaintiff, who now sought disclosure of the identity of the presumed thief.
Held: (Lord Salmon dissenting) The courts have never recognised a public interest right . .
Appeal fromAshworth Security Hospital v MGN Ltd CA 18-Dec-2000
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 . .
CitedRegina (Brady) v Ashworth Hospital Authority 2000
Force feeding of the applicant, a convicted murderer and detained mental patient, was lawful since it was reasonably administered as part of the medical treatment given for the mental disorder from which Ian Brady was suffering. By virtue of section . .
CitedJohn and Others v Express Newspapers and Others CA 26-Apr-2000
Where a party sought from a newspaper disclosure of the source of a journalists story, and an order for contempt in default he was under a duty first to attempt to find that source through other means. A failure even to try can be persuasive to the . .
CitedCamelot Group plc v Centaur Communications Limited CA 23-Oct-1997
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 . .
CitedFinancial Times Ltd and others v Interbrew SA CA 8-Mar-2002
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 . .
CitedGoodwin v The United Kingdom ECHR 27-Mar-1996
An order for a journalist to reveal his source was a breach of his right of free expression: ‘The court recalls that freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society and that the safeguards to be afforded to . .
CitedX Ltd v Morgan-Grampian (Publishers) Ltd HL 1990
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 . .
CitedBritish Steel Corporation v Granada Television Ltd CA 7-May-1980
Lord Denning MR said that the Norwich Pharmacal case opened ‘a new chapter in our law’ and ‘Mr Irvine suggested this was limited to cases where the injured person desired to sue the wrongdoer. I see no reason why it should be so limited. The same . .
CitedMarks v Beyfus 1890
The plaintiff claimed damages for malicious prosecution. He called the Director of Public Prosecutions as a witness, who refused to identify the name of the person who had given him the information on which he had acted against the plaintiff.
CitedBergens Tidende And Others v Norway ECHR 2-May-2000
A newspaper complained that its rights under Article 10 of the Convention had been infringed by a libel action which a cosmetic surgeon had successfully brought against it in respect of defamatory articles it had published saying he was incompetent. . .
CitedP v T Ltd ChD 7-May-1997
A order for the disclosure of documents can be proper if it is the only method of founding proceedings against a third party, even though there might be no sufficient proof without the documents. An order was made because it was necessary in the . .
CitedZ v Finland ECHR 25-Feb-1997
A defendant had appealed against his conviction for manslaughter and related offences by deliberately subjecting women to the risk of being infected by him with HIV virus. The applicant, Z, had been married to the defendant, and infected by him with . .
CitedThe Sunday Times (No 1) v The United Kingdom ECHR 26-Apr-1979
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 . .
CitedD v National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children HL 2-Feb-1977
Immunity from disclosure of their identity should be given to those who gave information about neglect or ill treatment of children to a local authority or the NSPCC similar to that which the law allowed to police informers.
Lord Simon of . .
CitedRice v Connolly 1966
No Legal Duty to Assist a Constable
At common law there is no legal duty to provide the police with information or otherwise to assist them with their inquiries. Lord Parker set out three questions to be answered when asking whether there had been an obstruction of an officer in the . .

Cited by:
CitedAckroyd v Mersey Care NHS Trust CA 16-May-2003
The journalist was required to provide the source of his material. In an earlier hearing the newspaper had been ordered to disclose the name of its source, the journalist. The claimant obtained summary judgement, which the journalist now appealed. . .
CitedMitsui and Co Ltd v Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd ChD 29-Apr-2005
Mitsui sought disclosure of documents from a third party under the rules in Norwich Pharmacal.
Held: Such relief was available ‘where the claimant requires the disclosure of crucial information in order to be able to bring its claim or where . .
CitedE v Channel Four, News International Ltd and St Helens Borough Council FD 1-Jun-2005
The applicant sought an order restraining publication by the defendants of material, saying she did not have capacity to consent to the publication. She suffered a multiple personality disorder. She did herself however clearly wish the film to be . .
CitedTB, Regina (on the Application of) v The Combined Court at Stafford Admn 4-Jul-2006
The claimant was the child complainant in an allegation of sexual assault. The defendant requested her medical records, and she now complained that she had been unfairly pressured into releasing them.
Held: The confidentiality of a patient’s . .
See AlsoMersey Care NHS Trust v Ackroyd CA 21-Feb-2007
The defendant journalist had published confidential material obtained from the claimant’s secure hospital at Ashworth. The hospital now appealed against the refusal of an order for him to to disclose his source.
Held: The appeal failed. Given . .
CitedGrobbelaar v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another HL 24-Oct-2002
The claimant appealed against a decision of the Court of Appeal quashing the judgement in his favour for damages for defamation.
Held: The Court of Appeal was not able to quash a jury verdict as perverse, and the appeal succeeded. An appellate . .
CitedMohamed, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No 1) Admn 21-Aug-2008
The claimant had been detained by the US in Guantanamo Bay suspected of terrorist involvement. He sought to support his defence documents from the respondent which showed that the evidence to be relied on in the US courts had been obtained by . .
CitedFinancial Times Ltd and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 15-Dec-2009
The claimants said that an order that they deliver up documents leaked to them regarding a possible takeover violated their right to freedom of expression. They complained that such disclosure might lead to the identification of journalistic . .
CitedThe Rugby Football Union v Viagogo Ltd QBD 30-Mar-2011
The claimant objected to the resale through the defendant of tickets to matches held at the Twickenham Stadium. The tickets contained terms disallowing resales at prices over the face value. They sought orders for the disclosure of the names of the . .
CitedThe Rugby Football Union v Consolidated Information Services Ltd SC 21-Nov-2012
The Union challenged the right of the respondent to resell tickets to international rugby matches. The tickets were subject to a condition rendering it void on any resale at above face value. They said that the respondent had advertised tickets in . .
CitedBains and Others v Moore and Others QBD 15-Feb-2017
The claimant anti-asbestos campaigners complained that the defendant investigators had infringed their various rights of privacy. They now sought discovery to support the claim.
Held: the contents of the witness statements do show that it is . .
CitedCartier International Ag and Others v British Telecommunications Plc and Another SC 13-Jun-2018
The respondent ISP companies had been injuncted to stop the transmission of websites which infringed the trade mark rights of the claimants. The ISPs now appealed from the element of the order that they pay the claimants’ costs of implementing the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Media, Contempt of Court, Human Rights

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.174120

Independent Publishing Company Limited v The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, The Director of Public Prosecutions: PC 8 Jun 2004

PC (Trinidad and Tobago) The newspapers had been accused of contempt of court having reported matters in breach of court orders, and the editors committed to prison after a summary hearing: ‘In deciding whether someone’s section 4 (a) ‘right not to be deprived [of their liberty] except by due process of law’ has been violated, it is the legal system as a whole which must be looked at, not merely one part of it. The fundamental human right, as Lord Diplock said [in Maharaj v Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago (No. 2) [1979] AC 385], is to ‘a legal system … that is fair’. Where, as in Mr Maharaj’s case, there was no avenue of redress (save only an appeal by special leave direct to the Privy Council) from a manifestly unfair committal to prison, … one can understand why the legal system should be characterised as unfair. Where, however, as in the present case, Mr Ali was able to secure his release on bail within 4 days of his committal – indeed, within only one day of his appeal to the Court of Appeal – their Lordships would hold the legal system as a whole to be a fair one.’

Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
[2005] 1 AC 190, [2004] 3 WLR 611, [2004] UKPC 26, [2005] 1 All ER 499
PC, Bailii, PC
Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago 14
Commonwealth
Citing:
CitedNankissoon Boodram v Attorney-General of Trinidad and Tobago PC 19-Feb-1996
The court considered the effect of prejudicial reporting on a trial: ‘In a case such as this, the publications either will or will not prove to have been so harmful that when the time for the trial arrives the techniques available to the trial judge . .
CitedScott v Scott HL 5-May-1913
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 . .
CitedRegina v Socialist Worker Printers and Publishers Ltd, Ex parte Attorney-General CA 1974
In a blackmail case, the court ordered non publication of the names of the complainants. Thinking they were not bound, the defendants published the names.
Held: The publishers and Mr Michael Foot were held to be in contempt of court in . .
CitedRex v Clement CEC 1821
After the trial for high treason of those involved in the Cato Street Conspiracy in 1820, Clement, the editor of a newspaper was punished for contempt. There had been a series of trials, but the judge said they had to be treated as one set of . .
CitedRegina v Poulson and Pottinger CACD 1974
The trial judge said that he did not see how the press could report the evidence in the case without running the risk of being in contempt of other criminal proceedings which had already begun against Poulson and other defendants in respect of . .
CitedAttorney-General v Leveller Magazine Ltd HL 1-Feb-1979
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 . .
CitedRegina v Border Television Ltd, Ex parte Attorney-General QBD 18-Jan-1978
The defendant media company was found guilty of contempt for reporting that the defendant had pleaded guilty at the outset of her trial to a number of other charges against her. No warning had been given. . .

Cited by:
CitedNaidike, Naidike and Naidike v The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago PC 12-Oct-2004
(Trinidad and Tobago) The claimant was arrested following expiry of the last of his work permits and after he had failed to provide evidence of his intention to leave. As he was arrested he was also arrested for assaulting a police officer. He was . .
CitedAttorney 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
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 . .
CitedPNM v Times Newspapers Ltd and Others SC 19-Jul-2017
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 . .
CitedRegina v Croydon Crown Court ex parte Trinity Mirror Plc; In re Trinity Mirror plc CACD 1-Feb-2008
An order had been made protecting the identity of a defendant who pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children. The order was made in the interests of his own children, although they had been neither witnesses in the proceedings against . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Constitutional, Media, Contempt of Court

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.198072

Balli, Re Contempt of Court Act 1981 (No. 2): ChD 15 Jul 2011

balliContemptChD11

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 struck from the roll of solicitors, and his remorse appeared genuine. The sentence had been neither excessive or inappropriate, and it would normally be wrong to reduce it. However the sentence so far served, whatever its impact on him was insufficient to mark the gravity of the contempt. The applicant should serve a further two weeks in prison, and then be released, and the sentence commuted accordingly.
Simon Barker QC HHJ said: The phrase ‘in the face of the court’ is not to be construed literally as meaning in court during a hearing, or even as necessarily being confined to conduct within the precincts of the court. However, there must be a direct and cogent connection with proceedings ongoing before a court .

Simon Barker QC HHJ
[2011] EWHC 1865 (Ch)
Bailii
Contempt of Court Act 1981
Citing:
CitedRe W (B) (An Infant) CA 1969
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. . .
Sentence imposedBalli (Also Known As Ravinder Singh), Re Contempt of Court ChD 1-Jul-2011
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 . .
CitedHarris v Harris; Harris v Attorney General FD 21-May-2001
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 . .
CitedLightfoot v Lightfoot CA 1989
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, . .
CitedNield and Another v Loveday and Another Admn 13-Jul-2011
The court considered the institution of proceedings for contempt of court based upon an allegation that a document filed in court proceedings and supported by a statement of truth was false. In this case the defendant argued that the first claimant . .
CitedDelaney v Delaney CA 2-Nov-1995
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.442091

Comet Products UK Ltd v Hawkex Plastics: CA 1971

The court was asked whether a defendant should be cross-examined on an affidavit sworn by him on an application by the plaintiff to commit him for contempt.
Held: The cross-examination was likely to cover issues in the action and on that basis it was held that it should not have been allowed. A person accused of contempt, like the defendant in a criminal trial, has the right to remain silent.
Where a respondent to an application for committal for contempt had chosen to deploy affidavit evidence before the court, the court had a discretion to allow cross-examination on the contents of those affidavits. However, the court must first be satisfied that the cross-examination will be confined to the allegations of contempt, rather than to wider matters relevant to the merits of the proceedings.
Lord Denning MR said: ‘This case raises questions of some importance. Mr Sparrow [Counsel for the plaintiffs] submitted that in proceedings of this kind the defendant can be compelled to give evidence even against himself. Mr Sparrow pointed out that this is a case of civil contempt and not criminal. The difference is well known. A criminal contempt is one which takes place in the face of the court, or which prejudices a fair trial and so forth. A civil contempt is different. A typical case is disobedience to an order made by the court in a civil action.
I cannot accept counsel’s submission. Although this is a civil contempt, it partakes of the nature of a criminal charge. The defendant is liable to be punished for it. He may be sent to prison. The rules as to criminal charges have always been applied to such a proceeding. I see that Cross J in Yianni v Yianni, so decided; and furthermore we ourselves in this court, in Re Bramblevale Ltd, said that it must be proved with the same degree of satisfaction as in a criminal charge. It follows that the accused is not bound to give evidence unless he chooses to do so. In this connection I quote what Bowen LJ said in Redfern v. Redfern [1891] P 139 at 147, [1886-90] All ER Rep 524 at 528:-
‘It is one of the inveterate principles of English law that a party cannot be compelled to discover that which, if answered, would tend to subject him to any punishment, penalty, forfeiture . . ‘no one is bound to incriminate himself”
This was not always the law in the case of civil contempt. In the days of Sir William Blackstone, 200 years ago, civil contempt was an exception to the general principle. In those days a plaintiff was entitled to deliver interrogatories to the defendant, which the defendant was bound to answer on oath. In his Commentaries (18th Edn, 1829, Bk4, page 287) Sir William Blackstone said that:-
‘this method of making the defendant answer upon oath to a criminal charge, is not agreeable to the genius of the common law in any other instance’;
and he went on to say at page 288:-
‘by long and immemorial usage,[it] has now become the law of the land’.
I am prepared to accept that such a rule did exist in the days of Sir William Blackstone. But I do not think it exists any longer today. The genius of the common law has prevailed. I hold that a man who is charged with contempt of court cannot be compelled to answer interrogatories or to give evidence himself to make him provide his guilt. I reject the submission that the defendant is a compellable witness in the contempt proceedings against him.’
Megaw LJ observed that where there is a bona fide application to cross-examine a deponent on his affidavit in interlocutory proceedings, the application should normally be granted.

Lord Denning MR, Megaw LJ
[1971] 2 QB 67, [1971] 1 All ER 1141
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedThe Coca-Cola Company and Another v Cengiz Aytacli and others ChD 30-Jan-2003
The claimant having succeeded in an action against the defendants, now sought an order for their committal for contempt, accusing them of having given false evidence, and of having failed to comply with court orders made. The defendant asserted a . .
CitedInplayer Ltd and Another v Thorogood CA 25-Nov-2014
Appeal against a decision that the first defendant in a chancery action was guilty of two contempts of court by reason of untruthful statements in his affidavit. He complained of procedural irregularities affecting the fairness.
Held: ‘the . .
CitedVIS Trading Co Ltd v Nazarov and Others QBD 18-Nov-2015
Application for the first defendant to be committed for alleged contempt of court for having failed to make disclosure of documents as required by a court order.
Whipple J said: ‘In this case, the extent to which the Defendants are in . .
CitedDiscovery 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 now sought an adjournment saying that he had not been advised of the availability of legal aid, and . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Contempt of Court

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.179891

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
Bailii
Contempt of Court Act 1981
England and Wales
Citing:
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

A v Independent News and Media Ltd and Others: CA 31 Mar 2010

The newspapers sought leave to report proceedings before the Court of Protection in connection with a patient unable to manage his own affairs. The patient retained a possible capacity to work as a professional musician. The family wanted the proceedings held in private.
Held: Their appeal against the order allowing access failed. The normal rule is that such proceedings must be private. The court could deviate from this only for ‘good reason’.
The real question was whether and how the respondent’s article 10 right could be engaged and weighed. It would be difficult to find a case which might better demonstrate the proper workings of the Court of Protection. An appeal court sould interfere with a judge’s exercise of a discretion only where it was clearly wrong. ‘The fact that we take a different view from the judge (to whom Atkinson, Matky and Tarsasag were not cited) cannot possibly mean that his decision was flawed. If he had concluded that article 10 was engaged at an earlier stage than he concluded, it would, at best, have reinforced his view that the media had shown ‘good reason’ at the first stage of his two stage process (although, as explained above, we very much doubt that it would have affected his thought processes in any way.)’

Judge LCJ, Neuberger MR, Sir Mark Potter
[2010] EWCA Civ 343, (2010) 113 BMLR 162, [2010] 3 All ER 32, [2010] 1 WLR 2262, [2010] 2 FLR 1290, [2010] Fam Law 705, [2010] 2 FCR 187
Bailii, Times
Mental Capacity Act 2005, Administration of Justice Act 1960 12, European Convention on Human Rights 8 10, Human Rights Act 1998 12(4)
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromIndependent News and Media Ltd and Others v A FD 12-Nov-2009
A, an adult and severely disabled, still had remarkable gifts. The newspapers wished to attend and report on proceedings before the Court of Protection.
Held: Proceedings in the Court fell within the range of recognised exception for open . .
ApprovedLord Browne of Madingley v Associated Newspapers Ltd CA 3-Apr-2007
The appellant sought to restrict publication by the defendants in the Mail on Sunday of matters which he said were a breach of confidence. He had lied to a court in giving evidence, whilst at the same time being ready to trash the reputation of his . .
CitedB v The United Kingdom; P v The United Kingdom ECHR 2001
The provisions of rule 4.16(7) providing for confidentiality in children proceedings were Convention compliant: ‘such proceedings are prime examples of cases where the exclusion of the press and public may be justified in order to protect the . .
CitedLeander v Sweden ECHR 26-Mar-1987
Mr Leander had been refused employment at a museum located on a naval base, having been assessed as a security risk on the basis of information stored on a register maintained by State security services that had not been disclosed him. Mr Leander . .
CitedIn re Guardian News and Media Ltd and Others; HM Treasury v Ahmed and Others SC 27-Jan-2010
Proceedings had been brought to challenge the validity of Orders in Council which had frozen the assets of the claimants in those proceedings. Ancillary orders were made and confirmed requiring them not to be identified. As the cases came to the . .
CitedIn re S (a Child) (Identification: Restrictions on Publication) HL 28-Oct-2004
Inherent High Court power may restrain Publicity
The claimant child’s mother was to be tried for the murder of his brother by poisoning with salt. It was feared that the publicity which would normally attend a trial, would be damaging to S, and an application was made for reporting restrictions to . .
CitedAtkinson and Crook and The Independent v United Kingdom ECHR 3-Dec-1990
(European Commission of Human Rights) The Commission answered a question as to admissibility, namely whether the sentencing of a convicted criminal defendant in private infringed article 10. The complainants were two freelance journalists.
CitedTarsasag A Szabadsagjogokert v Hungary ECHR 13-Nov-2008
The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union sought access to details of a legal challenge filed by a Hungarian parliamentarian in the Hungarian Constitutional Court concerning the constitutionality of legislative amendments to the Hungarian Criminal Code. . .

Cited by:
CitedAl Rawi and Others v The Security Service and Others CA 4-May-2010
Each claimant had been captured and mistreated by the US government, and claimed the involvement in and responsibility for that mistreatment by the respondents. The court was asked whether a court in England and Wales, in the absence of statutory . .
CitedGuardian News and Media Ltd, Regina (on The Application of) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court and Another CA 25-Oct-2011
The claimant newspaper sought to appeal against a refusal by the respondent to disclose papers filed in a case before it. The court considered whether it had jurisdiction to hear an appeal.
Held: Under the 1981 Act no appeal would lie if the . .
CitedKennedy v Charity Commission CA 20-Mar-2012
The claimant sought disclosure of an investigation conducted by the respondent. The respondent replied that the material was exempt within section 32(2). The court had found that that exemption continued permanently even after the inquiry was . .
CitedBank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury (No 1) SC 19-Jun-2013
Closed Material before Supreme Court
Under the 2009 order, the appellant Bank had been effectively shut down as to its operations within the UK. It sought to use the appeal procedure, and now objected to the use of closed material procedure. The Supreme Court asked itself whether it . .
CitedMX v Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust and Others CA 17-Feb-2015
Application was made for approval of a compromise of a claim for damages for personal injury for the child. The court now considered whether an order should be made to protect the identity of the six year old claimant.
Held: An order should . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Media, Contempt of Court, Health, Human Rights

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.406622

Hydropool Hot Tubs Ltd v Roberjot and Another: ChD 4 Feb 2011

The parties disputed ownership of a customer database. An interim order had been made prohibiting the defendants’ from its use pending trial. A mandatory order had been made for the disclosure of a list of contacts made, and the claimant complained in contempt as to non-compliabe with the order. The defendant said that the order with penal notice attached had not been served personally as required. The claimant asked the court to dispense with service on the basis that the purpose of the rules was satisfied since it was clear that the defendants knew the content nature and purport of the order.
Held: It was ‘just to dispense with personal service in the present case for the following reasons. The Defendants were represented by solicitors and counsel. The applications for the Orders were made on notice. The Defendants did not oppose the making of the Orders. They were clearly aware of the terms of the Orders. Both Orders bore clear penal notices on the first page spelling out the consequences of disobedience. John Roberjot could not have failed to read and understand those penal notices if he had read the Orders at all.’
Contempts having been found, the court adjourned for further submissions.

Arnold J
[2011] EWHC 121 (Ch)
Bailii
RSC Order 45 Rule 7
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedDavy International Ltd and others v Tazzyman and others and Davy International Ltd and others v Durnig and others CA 1-May-1997
. .
CitedJolly v Hull and Others, Jolly v Jolly CA 21-Jan-2000
The requirement that a penal notice must have been endorsed upon an order before an application is made to commit the respondent for contempt, was not absolute. In exceptional and clear cases only, as here, such an order could be made, but this . .
CitedAnthony Francis Riou Benson v Samantha Jane Richards In Person CA 11-Oct-2002
The defendant had been ordered to remove a fence she had placed on land in breach of a court order. She had served a term of imprisonment for contempt, as had her mother who had encouraged her in the flouting of the court order. She now sought to . .
CitedTuohy and Others v Bell CA 27-Mar-2002
The appellant challenged an order for his committal for contempt. . .
CitedMalgar Ltd v R E Leach Engineering Ltd ChD 1-Nov-1999
The Civil Procedure Rules could not change the substantive law. It therefore remained necessary for it to be shown that in addition to knowing that what was said was false, the party had to have known that what was being said was likely to interfere . .
CitedHM Attorney General v Smith Admn 16-Jan-2008
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.428676

HM 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 ran stories which were so vivid that the Attorney-General said, they would have seriously affected any future trial and amounted to a contempt.
Held: The articles were indeed a contempt, and the newspapers fined pounds 50,000 and pounds 18,000 respectively. The fact that at a later point there was to be no trial because of the suspect’s accepted innocence did not reduce the contempt. At the time of publication, proceedings as defined within section 2(2) were active, and ‘as a matter of principle, the vilification of a suspect under arrest readily falls within the protective ambit of section 2(2) of the Act as a potential impediment to the course of justice. At the simplest level publication of such material may deter or discourage witnesses from coming forward and providing information helpful to the suspect, which may, (depending on the circumstances) help immediately to clear him of suspicion or enable his defence to be fully developed at trial. This may arise, for example, because witnesses may be reluctant to be associated with or perceived to be a supporter of the suspect, or, again, because they may begin to doubt whether information apparently favourable to the suspect could possibly be correct. Adverse publicity may impede the course of justice in a variety of different ways, but in the context we are now considering, it is not an answer that on the evidence actually available, the combination of the directions of the judge and the integrity of the jury would ensure a fair trial. The problem is that the evidence at trial may be incomplete just because its existence may never be known, or indeed may only come to light after conviction.’

Lord Judge LCJ, Thomas LJ, Owen J
[2011] EWHC 2074 (Admin), [2012] ACD 13, [2012] EMLR 9, [2012] 1 WLR 2408, [2012] 1 Cr App R 1
Bailii
Contempt of Court Act 1981 1 2(2)
England and Wales
Citing:
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 . .
CitedRegina v West (Rosemary) CACD 3-Apr-1996
Payments to witnesses in criminal trials by media need investigation and control. Nevertheless, the fact that a number of witnesses had sold their stories to the media before the trial, which was disclosed to the defence before or during the trial, . .
CitedMontgomery and Coulter v Her Majesty’s Advocate PC 19-Oct-2000
The test of whether a defendant’s common law right to a fair trial had been damaged by pre-trial publicity was similar to the test under the Convention, and also where there was any plea of oppression. The substantial difference is that no balancing . .
CitedRegina v Stone CACD 14-Feb-2001
The defendant appealed against his conviction in 1998 of murder based on a confession said to have been made to a fellow prisoner on remand. A witness supporting that confession said after the trial that he had lied under police pressure. The appeal . .
CitedRegina v Abu Hamza CACD 28-Nov-2006
The defendant had faced trial on terrorist charges. He claimed that delay and the very substantial adverse publicity had made his fair trial impossible, and that it was not an offence for a foreign national to solicit murders to be carried out . .
CitedBarry George v Regina CACD 29-Jul-2002
There had been an identification parade, but the witness had not made an unqualified identification of the defendant. He now appealed admission of the evidence from ID parade.
Held: Recognising the difficulties in identification evidence, and . .
CitedAttorney-General v Birmingham Post and Mail Ltd QBD 31-Aug-1998
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 . .
CitedAttorney General v Michael Ronald Unger; Manchester Evening News Limited and Associated Newspapers Limited Admn 3-Jul-1997
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 . .
CitedHer Majesty’s Attorney-General v Guardian Newspapers Ltd Admn 23-Jul-1999
A defendant had been accused of using stolen human body parts in art exhibits. The Observer newspaper published an article said to have been in contempt of court, prejudicing the trial.
Held: Sedley LJ discussed the possibility of a retrial in . .
CitedAttorney-General v Times Newspapers Ltd and Others CA 12-Feb-1983
The Attorney General brought contempt proceedings against five newspapers who had wriitten about two entries made to Buckingham Palace by Michael Fagan. Amongst the newspapers found guilty of contempt was The Sunday Times.
Held: The newspapers . .
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: . .
CitedGreenwood v The Leather Shod Wheel Co Limited 1898
At common law, material which would deter a witness from coming forward to give evidence is capable of constituting contempt of court. . .
Citedin Re Lonrho Plc HL 1989
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 . .
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. . .
CitedIn re D (Acquitted Person: Retrial) CACD 27-Feb-2006
The defendant had been acquitted. The Director of Public prosecutions announced that new and compelling evidence had come to light and a retrial was ordered. The defendant objected that the publicity surrounding the Director’s publicity release was . .

Cited by:
CitedZXC v Bloomberg Lp CA 15-May-2020
Privacy Expecation during police investigations
Appeal from a judgment finding that the Defendant had breached the Claimant’s privacy rights. He made an award of damages for the infraction of those rights and granted an injunction restraining Bloomberg from publishing information which further . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Media

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.442439

HM Attorney General v Seckerson and Times Newspapers Ltd: Admn 13 May 2009

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 the application of section 3 of the 1998 Act in the respondents’ favour so as to interpret restrictively the relevant words in section 8(1). Even if there were to be a place, section 3 would not permit an interpretation of the plain words used in a way that would influence the outcome of this application. Here the count of jury votes had been disclosed: ‘The words used in section 8 in relation to the ‘deliberations’; ‘statements made’, ‘opinions expressed’, ‘arguments advanced’, and ‘votes cast’ appear to me to cover the entire range of a jury’s deliberations when considering their verdict or verdicts in the case. Provided the disclosure is in relation to their deliberations in the case, and not about an extraneous matter, it comes within the section.’
and ‘The jury system has shown itself to be robust in operation and is valued highly in this jurisdiction. Its strength and value depend on the open and frank expression of views between twelve people in the secrecy of the jury room. Confidence to express views in that way depends on the juror’s knowledge that the views will not be revealed outside the jury room. Jurors should not be constrained by fears a juror would legitimately have if his friends and neighbours, and the general public, may come to know of his views, which could be unpopular views. If views were expressed in the hope of their being disclosed, or with an intention to disclose, that would also have a deleterious effect on the quality of deliberations.
It is the principle of the secrecy of the jury room which is at stake and which is central to the proper administration of justice in this jurisdiction, as stated in the authorities. It is not necessary to establish that the disclosure has led to injustice in the case concerned. Disclosures must be examined individually if the principle is to be maintained. Disclosures found to be in breach of the section do not obtain cover by being interwoven, whether intentionally or unintentionally interwoven, with expressions of general concern, which may legitimately be made by a juror. They do not obtain cover by the addition of favourable comments about how the jury functioned, as some of the disclosures in this case may have done. Indeed, disclosures incorporating favourable comment about other jurors could constitute a breach.’

Pill LJ, Sweeney J
[2009] EMLR 371, [2009] EWHC 1023 (Admin), [2009] EMLR 20
Bailii
Contempt of Court Act 1981 8, European Convention on Human Rights 10
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedHM Attorney General v Associated Newspapers Ltd and Others QBD 9-Dec-1992
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 . .
CitedAttorney General v New Statesman and National Publishing Company Ltd 1981
The Attorney General sought an order of contempt of court at common law following the publication in the ‘New Statesman’ of a juror’s account of significant parts of the jury’s deliberations in the course of arriving at their verdict in the trial of . .
CitedHM Attorney-General v Associated Newspapers Ltd and Others HL 4-Feb-1994
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 . .
CitedAttorney General v Scotcher HL 19-May-2005
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 . .
CitedGregory v The United Kingdom ECHR 25-Feb-1997
gregory_ukECHR1997
A judge’s direction to the jury to disregard any question of racial bias was sufficient to ensure a fair trial for the defendant. In discussing the protection of the secrecy of jury deliberations: ‘The court acknowledges that the rule governing the . .
CitedRegina v Pan; Regina v Sawyer 29-Jun-2001
Canlii (Supreme Court of Canada) Constitutional law – Charter of Rights – Fundamental justice – Whether common law rule of jury secrecy and Criminal Code prohibition on disclosure of information about . .
CitedDu Roy And Malaurie v France ECHR 3-Oct-2000
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 10; Non-pecuniary damage – finding of violation sufficient; Costs and expenses partial award – Convention proceedings
The court strongly . .
CitedAssociated Newspapers Ltd v United Kingdom ECHR 30-Nov-1994
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 . .

Cited by:
CitedCTB v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another (1) QBD 16-May-2011
ctb_newsQBD11
A leading footballer had obtained an injunction restraining the defendants from publishing his identity and allegations of sexual misconduct. The claimant said that she had demanded money not to go public.
Held: It had not been suggested that . .
At AdmnSeckerson and Times Newspapers Ltd v The United Kingdom ECHR 24-Jan-2012
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Human Rights, Media

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.343066

Hussain v Vaswani and Others: CA 18 Sep 2020

Breach of Undertaking went Beyond Debt

The tenant had obtained a stay of execution of a warrant for possession, by undertaking to discharge the arrears. He failed to pay, and the Court now considered whether such a failure was a contempt with a possible imprisonment for punishment. The tenant appealed from such an order saying that it was forbidden by the 1869 Act, and that none of the exception in the Act applied.
Held: The appeal failed. The purpose of the 1869 Act was to prevent imprisonment for debt, and did apply to orders or undertakings requiring the provision of security, whether by way of payment into court or an appropriate bank account. The failure to comply with the undertaking went beyond the non-payment of a debt, being a failure to honour extra obligations to the court which, in turn, had to be able to ensure compliance with the promises made.
Section 4 must be purposively construed- to prevent imprisonment for non-payment of ordinary debts. As the authorities make clear, it does not apply to orders or undertakings requiring the provision of security, whether way of payment into court or an appropriate bank account.

Baker, Arnold LJJ
[2020] EWCA Civ 1216, [2020] WLR(D) 510
Bailii, WLRD
Debtors Act 1869 4, Civil Procedure Rules 81.4
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedBates v Bates (No 2) CA 21-Dec-1888
W petitioned for judicial separation from her husband on the ground of cruelty. An order was made that the respondent should pay the petitioner’s solicitor pounds 41 odd to cover costs already incurred and should pay into court pounds 40 as security . .
CitedBuckley v Crawford QBD 1-Dec-1892
An order was made in interpleader proceedings that the sheriff should sell the goods seized and pay the claimant, the execution creditor undertaking to make good any deficiency on sale. There was a deficiency, and the master ordered that the . .
CitedCarter v Roberts ChD 1903
The parties to a partnership dispute respectively undertook to pay all sums of money received by them into a particular account pending trial. One of the parties allegedly failed to honour his undertaking, and the other party sought his committal, . .
CitedRe Hudson, Hudson v Hudson ChD 1966
The plaintiff’s marriage had been dissolved and her former husband was ordered to pay her maintenance at a specified rate. The husband subsequently filed evidence that he was unable to comply with that order but offered to undertake to pay one-third . .
CitedCotton v Heyl ChD 1939
Mr Cotton brought proceedings against Mr Heyl and a company which were compromised on the terms of a Tomlin order which contained an undertaking by Mr Heyl to pay Mr Cotton pounds 1,000 forthwith and pounds 4,000 out of the first monies received by . .
CitedProsser v Prosser ChD 2011
A consent order had been made in proceedings between two brothers which provided that the respondent should instruct the solicitors acting for him on the sale of his property that the proceeds of sale were to be remitted to a nominated bank account. . .
CitedDiscovery Land Company, Llc and Others v Jirehouse (A Body Corporate) and Others ChD 16-Aug-2019
Request for committal of a defendant, a solicitor, for contempt of court inter alia for breaches of undertakings given personally by him (and his firm) to pay surplus funds from a transaction amounting to $9.3 million or the sterling equivalent into . .
CitedManning, Regina v CACD 30-Apr-2020
AG’s reference – lenient sentence
‘We are hearing this Reference at the end of April 2020, when the nation remains in lock-down as a result of the Covid-19 emergency. The impact of that emergency on prisons is well-known. We are being invited . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.654047

Attorney General v Fraill and Another: CACD 16 Jun 2011

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 though she had communicated with a defendant it had been after that defendant’s trial on the facts was complete, and there had been no attempt to or effect of perverting the course of justice. However ‘Information provided by the internet (or any other modern method of communication) is not evidence. Even assuming the accuracy and completeness of this information (which, in reality, would be an unwise assumption) its use by a juror exposes him to the risk of being influenced, even unconsciously, by whatever emerges from the internet. This offends our long held belief that justice requires that both sides in a criminal trial should know and be able to address or answer any material (particularly material which appears adverse to them) which may influence the verdict.’
The defendant in the trial had also acted clearly in breach of the 1981 Act in enquiring about the jury deliberations, and ‘ Every member of the jury is entitled in the course of jury deliberations to express his or her views with the utmost frankness and clarity. Beyond the obvious courtesy of the give and take of discussion, there are no degrees or limitations of the views which may be expressed. This process is essential to the way in which juries work towards and finally arrive at their verdicts. Our arrangements proceed on the basis that everything that has been said in the course of these discussions must remain confidential to the members of the jury. And because they remain confidential to the jury, and are known to be so, the exchange of frank views and opinions is encouraged. No one is inhibited by the thought that the expression of an unpopular view, and its source, may become public knowledge.
The offence therefore is committed by (amongst others) by anyone who deliberately solicits information about any aspect of a jury’s deliberations, whether in the course of the trial or after its conclusion.’

Lord Judge LCJ, Ouseley, Holroyde JJ
[2011] EWCH 1629 (Admin), [2011] EWCA Crim B2, [2011] EWCA Crim 1570, [2011] ACD 89, [2011] 2 Crim App Rep 21
Bailii
Contempt of Court Act 1981 8(1)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedBishop of N v Earl of Kent 1500
Jurors were fined both for disobedience to the orders of the judge and also for discussions by one of them about the case they were trying with an external party . .
CitedFoster v Horden 1676
. .
CitedLangdell v Sutton 1790
An attachment was ordered against the jurors for determining their verdict by hustling half-pence in a hat ; one of them had discovered the matter, and sworn it ; the eleven others denied it upon oath ; but it was proved that four of them had . .
CitedRegina v Macrae 19-Nov-1892
. .
CitedAttorney-General v Newspaper Publishing Plc and Others CA 2-May-1997
A third party was in contempt of court if the proceedings had been significantly, and adversely, affected. It was not necessary that they had been frustrated entirely.
‘The law of contempt is of ancient origin yet of fundamental contemporary . .
CitedSchot and Another, v Regina CACD 12-May-1997
Jurors, after retirement refused to deliver a verdict claiming personal reasons. The were summoned to court to answer charges of contempt of court. Explaining the contempt proceedings that the jurors faced, the trial judge said: ‘[I]n so far as . .
CitedThompson and Others v Regina CACD 14-Jul-2010
Six appeals were brought alleging various forms of irregularity by the jurors.
Held: Lord Judge said: ‘The verdict must be reached, according to the jury oath in accordance with the evidence. For this purpose each juror brings to the . .
CitedRegina v Connor and another; Regina v Mirza HL 22-Jan-2004
The defendants sought an enquiry as to events in the jury rooms on their trials. They said that the secrecy of a jury’s deliberations did not fit the human right to a fair trial. In one case, it was said that jurors believed that the defendant’s use . .
CitedRegina v Karakaya CACD 16-Feb-2005
After conclusion of the trial, the jury bailiff discovered notes in the jury room which indictated that the jury, after they had retired for their verdict, had read and discussed notes obtained by a juror from the Internet relating to the case.
CitedRegina v Adams CACD 2007
Except with the authority of the trial judge during the trial, or of the court of appeal after the verdict, inquiries into jury deliberations are ‘forbidden territory’. . .
CitedRegina v Marshall and Crump CACD 17-Jan-2007
After the trial, papers were discovered in the jury retiring room showing that members of the jury had downloaded from the Internet material relating to the charges before them.
Held: The appeals failed. ‘the taking of this material into the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.441300

Lightfoot v Lightfoot: CA 1989

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 18 months imprisonment for the contempt.
Held: The court considered his application for early release. Lord Donaldson MR recalled the Mahone case and suggested ‘Sentences for contempt fall into two different categories. There is the purely punitive sentence where the contemnor is being punished for a breach of an order which has occurred but which was a once and for all breach. A common example, of course, is a non-molestation order where the respondent does molest the petitioner and that is an offence for which he has to be punished. In fixing the sentence there can well be an element of deterrence to deter him from doing it again and to deter others from doing it. That is one category.
There is a second category which I might describe as a coercive sentence where the contemnor has been ordered to do something and is refusing to do it. Of course, a sentence in that case has a punitive element since he has to be punished for having failed to do so up to the moment of the court hearing, but, nevertheless, it also has a coercive element.
Now, it is at that point that it is necessary to realize that in earlier times the courts would in such circumstances have imposed an indefinite sentence. That is to say a man would be committed to prison until such time as he purged his contempt by complying with the order. Under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 a limit has been placed on such sentences, that limit being 2 years. It would be consistent with the previous practice of the courts and give full effect to the modification required by statute if courts considered imposing a 2-year sentence when the contemnor was in continuing and wilful breach of court orders. Whilst there might be cases in which such a sentence would be disproportionately severe, any wilful defiance of the court and its orders is necessarily a very serious offence and if the contemnor is aggrieved he has a remedy in his own hands – he can seek his immediate release by ceasing his defiance, complying with the order and thereby purging his contempt.’

Lord Donaldson MR, Butler-Sloss LJ
[1989] 1 FLR 414
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedCJ v Flintshire Borough Council CA 15-Apr-2010
The applicant appealed against a refusal to allow his early release from prison having been sentenced to 21 months for contempts of court.
Held: The appeal failed. The court set out eight questions which might be asked before allowing such a . .
CitedBalli, Re Contempt of Court Act 1981 (No. 2) ChD 15-Jul-2011
balliContemptChD11
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 . .
CitedJSC BTA Bank v Solodchenko and others ChD 2-Nov-2010
The court consider its sentence on one of the defendants found to be in contempt of court.
Held: Mr Kythreotis was sentenced on the basis that the contempt had been purged, without making any finding as to whether there had been full and . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.408588

ABC and Others v CDE and Others: QBD 3 Nov 2009

The first claimant sought committal of the first defendant for contempt of court, alleging breach of a freezing order, saying that the defendant had created a sham debt and repaid it.
Held: There had been no genuine loan agreement, and the defendant had been involved in an elaborate arrangement to give it credence. It was not necessary to show that the actions were intended to breach the court order, and the court had a discretion to commit a party for contempt even if the penal notice did not say so. The defendant here was aware of the possibility. The parties were invited to consider what further orders were appropriate in the light of these findings.

Teare J
[2009] EWHC 2718 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedStancomb v Trowbridge Urban District Council 1910
To establish a contempt of court it is not necessary to show an intention to disobey the court order. Warrington J said: ‘In my judgment, if a person or a corporation is restrained by injunction from doing a particular act, that person or . .
CitedMileage Conference Group of the Tyre Manufacturers’ Conference Ltd’s Agreement 1966
A substantial fine was imposed for contempt by breach of an undertaking which was not merely non-contumacious, but was committed reasonably on legal advice.
Megaw J suggested, obiter, that a penal order against a contemnor might include a . .
CitedSofroniou v Szgetti 25-Jul-1990
(Federal Court of Australia) The court has a discretion to enforce a breach of an order by committal despite the absence of a formal penal notice. The discretion conferred by RSC.Ord.45 r.7(6) applied not only when there had been no service at all . .
CitedDirector General of Fair Trading v Smiths Concrete: re Supply of Ready Mixed Concrete 1992
For a person to be found in contempt of a court order it is necessary to show that that he knew of the relevant order and with that knowledge he intended to do the act which amounted to a breach of the court order. It is not necessary to show that . .
CitedDavy International Ltd and others v Tazzyman and others and Davy International Ltd and others v Durnig and others CA 1-May-1997
. .
CitedHarmsworth v Harmsworth 1987
The court said that said that it would only be in an exceptional case that the procedural rules regarding committal applications could be waived. . .
CitedSofroniou v Szgetti 25-Jul-1990
(Federal Court of Australia) The court has a discretion to enforce a breach of an order by committal despite the absence of a formal penal notice. The discretion conferred by RSC.Ord.45 r.7(6) applied not only when there had been no service at all . .
CitedDirector General of Fair Trading v Smiths Concrete: re Supply of Ready Mixed Concrete 1992
For a person to be found in contempt of a court order it is necessary to show that that he knew of the relevant order and with that knowledge he intended to do the act which amounted to a breach of the court order. It is not necessary to show that . .
CitedTuohy and Others v Bell CA 27-Mar-2002
The appellant challenged an order for his committal for contempt. . .
CitedBelgolaise Sa v Purchandani QBD 24-Jun-1998
Committal proceedings for contempt should be only the last resort and for flagrant refusal to disclose in breach of court order. It must be exceptional to dispense with penal notice, and impossible to do so retrospectively. . .
AppliedNicholls v Nicholls CA 20-Dec-1996
The formalities of committal proceedings are to be strictly observed, but a breach of the formalities may be overlooked if it does not affect the justice of the case.
Lord Woolf MR considered the discretion given to a court to commit for . .
MentionedMoerman-Lenglet v Henshaw 25-Nov-1992
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.377359

Bushell’s Case: CCP 1796

Jury Not Punishable for Perverse Verdict

The jury threatened to return a verdict unwelcome to the judge. He threatened to imprison them unless it was changed. Bushell refused, and having been imprisoned, now sought habeas corpus.
Held: Sir John Vaughan CJ said that the writ should not be granted. It was King’s Bench which should issue writs of habeas corpus in ordinary criminal cases and that Common Pleas could issue the writ only on a claim of privilege of the court (eg, if the petitioner were an attorney of Common Pleas). However, once the other justices issued the writ, Vaughan ruled that a jury could not be punished on account of the verdict it returned.

Sir John Vaughan CJ
[1796] EngR 799, (1796) 1 Mod 119, (1796) 86 ER 777 (C)
Commonlii
England and Wales

Contempt of Court, Criminal Practice

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.350504

Inplayer Ltd and Another v Thorogood: CA 25 Nov 2014

Appeal against a decision that the first defendant in a chancery action was guilty of two contempts of court by reason of untruthful statements in his affidavit. He complained of procedural irregularities affecting the fairness.
Held: ‘the judge’s decision cannot stand for three reasons:
i) Mr Thorogood was not informed at any time before judgment of the two alleged contempts which the judge found proved.
ii) Mr Thorogood was not informed of his right not to give evidence. Being unrepresented he would not know of that right. The litigation was so managed that Mr Thorogood had no choice but to give evidence.
iii) Mr Thorogood was not informed of his entitlement to legal aid. As a result he was unrepresented when facing the equivalent of a criminal charge.’
Jackson LJ said: ‘A committal application has the character of criminal proceedings. The alleged contemnor is therefore entitled to legal aid, so that he can be properly represented: see Kings Lynn v West Norfolk Council v Bunning (Legal Aid Agency, interested party) [2013] EWHC 3390 (QB); [2014] 2 All ER 1095
Unfortunately no-one told Mr Thorogood of his right to legal aid during the first instance proceedings. Mr Thorogood subsequently learnt of his entitlement, with the result that he now has legal aid and is represented in this court.
Mr Milford accepts that the hearing below proceeded without anyone telling Mr Thorogood of his right to legal aid in relation to the contempt application. Mr Milford also accepts that Mr Thorogood should have been told of his entitlement and then given an opportunity to instruct lawyers of his choice. Therefore there has been a breach of common law principles of fairness and ECHR article 6.3 (c) .
50 I therefore uphold the third ground of appeal.’

Jackson, Lewison, Treacy LJJ
[2014] EWCA Civ 1511
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedComet Products UK Ltd v Hawkex Plastics CA 1971
The court was asked whether a defendant should be cross-examined on an affidavit sworn by him on an application by the plaintiff to commit him for contempt.
Held: The cross-examination was likely to cover issues in the action and on that basis . .
CitedHammerton v Hammerton CA 23-Mar-2007
The husband appealed against his committal for contempt of a court order in family proceedings. The court had heard the wife’s application for his committal at the same time as his application for contact with the children.
Held: The appeal . .
CitedKing’s Lynn and West Norfolk Council v Bunning QBD 7-Nov-2013
Application for order finding the defendant and others to be in contempt of court in breaching an order as to the use of land for residential purposes.
Held: A committal application has the character of criminal proceedings. The alleged . .

Cited by:
CitedDiscovery 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 now sought an adjournment saying that he had not been advised of the availability of legal aid, and . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Natural Justice

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.539132

M v Home Office and Another; In re M: HL 27 Jul 1993

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 not be removed. He was removed in breach of the undertaking, which counsel then did not accept he had given. The judge ordered the return of M to this country. The respondent said the court had no power either of mandamus or in contempt against the Crown.
Held: A court can grant a final and or an interim injunction against the Crown, and the Crown and ministers of the Crown, are not immune to contempt proceedings for breach of an injunction.
Section 21 of the 1947 Act did not prevent an injunction being granted in a situation in which it could have been granted prior to the Act and section 31(2) of the Supreme Court Act 1981 gave jurisdiction to the court on applications for judicial review to grant injunctions, including interim injunctions, against ministers and other officers of the Crown. The effect of the 1947 Act was that it is only in those situations where prior to the Act no injunctive relief could be obtained that section 21 prevents an injunction being granted. This was the least that could be expected from legislation intended to make it easier for proceedings to be brought against the Crown.
Lord Templeman said: ‘My Lords, the argument that there is no power to enforce the law by injunction or contempt proceedings against a minister in his official capacity would, if upheld, establish the proposition that the executive obey the law as a matter of grace and not as a matter of necessity, a proposition which would reverse the result of the Civil War. For the reasons given by my noble and learned friend, Lord Woolf, and on principle, I am satisfied that injunctions and contempt proceedings may be brought against the minister in his official capacity and that in the present case the Home Office for which the Secretary of State was responsible was in contempt.’
Lord Templeman criticised ‘the proposition that the executive obey the law as a matter of grace and not as a matter of necessity [as] a proposition which would reverse the result of the Civil War’. The proposition that a member of the executive can actually overrule a decision of the judiciary because he does not agree with that decision is equally remarkable, even if one allows for the fact that the executive’s overruling can be judicially reviewed. Indeed, the notion of judicial review in such circumstances is a little quaint, as it can be said with some force that the rule of law would require a judge, almost as a matter of course, to quash the executive decision.

Lord Woolf, Lord Donaldson of Lymington MR
Times 28-Jul-1993, Gazette 13-Oct-1993, Independent 28-Jul-1993, [1994] 1 AC 377, [1993] UKHL 5, [1993] 3 WLR 43, [1993] 3 All ER 537
Bailii
Crown Proceedings Act 1947 21, Supreme Court Act 1981
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedMerricks v Heathcote-Amery 1955
. .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Transport, Ex parte Factortame Ltd HL 18-May-1989
The applicants were companies owned largely by Spanish nationals operating fishing vessels within UK waters. The 1988 Act required them to re-register the vessels as British fishing vessels. The sought suspension of enforcement pending a reference . .

Cited by:
CitedMcDonald v Secretary of State for Scotland ScSf 1994
The pursuer was a serving prisoner. He said he had been repeatedly searched without lawful authority, warrant or justifiable cause. He raised an action of reparation in the sheriff court in which he sought damages from the Secretary of State for . .
CitedDavidson v Scottish Ministers HL 15-Jul-2004
The claimant had sought damages for the conditions in which he had been held in prison in Scotland. He later discovered that one of the judges had acted as Lord Advocate representing as to the ability of the new Scottish Parliamentary system to . .
CitedMcDonald v Secretary of State for Scotland IHCS 2-Feb-1994
The pursuer, a prisoner, complained that he had been subject to repeated searches which he claimed were illegal. He sought damages and an injunction.
Held: The action which the pursuer had raised was an ordinary action in the sheriff court was . .
CitedPetition of Andrew Scott and Scott Davidson for Judicial Review of A Decision To Continue Their Detention In Inhumane Prison Conditions SCS 26-Oct-2001
Each applicant sought an interim order against the Scottish Minister with respect to their treatment in prison. It had been found that the conditions in Barlinnie Prison were inhumane. The Crown responded that the court had no jurisdiction to make . .
CitedReclaiming Motion In Petition of Scott Davidson for Judicial Review of A Decision To Continue To Detain the Prisoner In Inhuman and Degrading Prison C SCS 18-Dec-2001
A prisoner sought an order for his removal from a prison found to have a regime which breached his human rights. The Crown replied that an order could not be made under s21 of the 1947 Act.
Held: The prisoner had followed through his rights to . .
CitedDavidson v Scottish Ministers HL 15-Dec-2005
The complainant a prisoner sought an order that he should not be kept in conditions found to be inhumane. He had been detained in Barlinnie priosn. The Crown replied that a mandatory order was not available against the Scottish Ministers.
CitedBeggs v Scottish Ministers HL 7-Feb-2007
The claimant, a serving prisoner, had sought to sue the prison authorities for the conditions in which he was kept. He complained that his correspondence with his lawyers had been unlwafully opened by the prison. Repeatedly, undertakings were given . .
CitedRoberts v Swangrove Estates Ltd and Another ChD 14-Mar-2007
The court heard preliminary applications in a case asserting acquisition of land by adverse possession, the land being parts of the foreshore of the Severn Estuary.
Held: A person may acquire title to part of the bed of a tidal river by . .
CitedBancoult, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No 2) HL 22-Oct-2008
The claimants challenged the 2004 Order which prevented their return to their homes on the Chagos Islands. The islanders had been taken off the island to leave it for use as a US airbase. In 2004, the island was no longer needed, and payment had . .
CitedEvans and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Attorney General SC 26-Mar-2015
The Attorney General appealed against a decision for the release under the Act and Regulations of letters from HRH The Prince of Wales to various ministers and government departments.
Held: The appeal failed (Majority). The A-G had not been . .
CitedMajera, Regina (on The Application of v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 20-Oct-2021
The Court was asked whether the Government can lawfully act in a manner which is inconsistent with an order of a judge which is defective, without first applying for, and obtaining, the variation or setting aside of the order. The appellant had been . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Judicial Review, Contempt of Court, Constitutional

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.83259

Stobart Group Ltd and Others v Elliott: QBD 11 Apr 2013

The defendant applied to the court for various officers of the cliamant companies to be subject to contempt proceedings. The claimants asked the court to strike of the defendant’s counterclaim and to make a civil restraint order against him. There had been long standing disputes between them.
Held: The court found that the initial threshold had been achieved in respect of a few allegations. The court went on to consider the approach in different stages of litigation, saying: ‘there is a strong public interest in emphasising the dangers of making false statements in witness statements that are known to be untrue or which are made recklessly, not caring whether or not they are true. This interest applies to all statements in whatever type of proceedings they are deployed. The reasons are obvious – In the context of civil justice, false statements place innocent parties at risk of being deprived of, rather than vindicating, their rights and entitlements or increasing their liabilities, false statements increase the cost of litigation for innocent parties and increase the burden on the public by lengthening trials and hearings unnecessarily thereby delaying other cases needlessly, and/or increasing the cost to the public of providing a civil justice system, and increasing the number of appeals.
There is however a particular and additional public interest that applies in relation to statements deployed in support of (or which confirm as true information supplied to judges in support of) without notice applications. It has long been the case that parties applying to the court without notice owe a duty to the court to disclose everything known or which could reasonably be ascertained by them that might be relied on by the respondent to such an application as an answer to it. To fail in that duty is to expose such a respondent to the risk of very serious injustice that may but often is not readily compensated by a cross undertaking by the applying party to make good any loss sustained as a result of the order sought being wrongly granted.’
Three of the allegations here were as to statements made on without notice allegations.
As to the alleged tort of abuse of process: ‘for a claim for abuse of process to succeed a claimant must be able to show at the very least that in commencing and continuing the litigation concerned, the claimant was or is pursuing an ulterior purpose unrelated to the subject matter of the litigation and that, but for the ulterior purpose, he would not have commenced proceedings. Even then the claimant is limited to recovering damages for injury to reputation, for imprisonment and to recover the costs of defending the relevant proceedings.’
The tort of malicious prosecution was not available outside criminal proceedings and a closed class of civil proceedings, none of which were relevant here. The defendant’s counterclaim was accordingly without merit and was to be struck out.

Pelling QC J
[2013] EWHC 797 (QB)
Bailii
Civil Procedure Rules 81
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedNield and Another v Loveday and Another Admn 13-Jul-2011
The court considered the institution of proceedings for contempt of court based upon an allegation that a document filed in court proceedings and supported by a statement of truth was false. In this case the defendant argued that the first claimant . .
CitedMalgar Ltd v R E Leach Engineering Ltd ChD 1-Nov-1999
The Civil Procedure Rules could not change the substantive law. It therefore remained necessary for it to be shown that in addition to knowing that what was said was false, the party had to have known that what was being said was likely to interfere . .
CitedBerry Piling Systems Ltd v Sheer Projects Ltd TCC 28-Feb-2013
The defendant sought permission to bring contempt proceedings against former directors of the claimant company, saying that by means of false evidence they had secured an arbitration verdict.
Held: A reckless disregard for the truth or falsity . .
CitedKirk v Walton QBD 24-Jul-2008
kirk_waltonQBD2008
The defendant sought leave to bring proceedings for contempt of court against the claimant saying that she had had no honest belief in the matters deposed in her statement of truth, in that she had substantially exaggerated her injuries.
Held: . .
CitedKJM Superbikes Ltd v Hinton CA 20-Nov-2008
The claimant had been sued for the misuse of trademarks by selling motorcycles imported via a parallel market. It claimed that the defendant had filed false evidence in that action, and now appealed a refusal by the judge to bring contempt . .
CitedGoldsmith v Sperrings Ltd CA 1977
Claims for Collateral Purpose treated as abuse
The plaintiff commenced proceedings for damages for libel and an injunction against the publishers, the editors and the main distributors of Private Eye. In addition, he issued writs against a large number of other wholesale and retail distributors . .
CitedSpeed Seal Ltd v Paddington CA 1985
The court was asked whether the defendant should be permitted to add to his pleadings a counterclaim asserting that the action was brought in bad faith for the ulterior motive of damaging the defendants’ business, and not for the protection of any . .
CitedMetall und Rohstoff AG v Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette Inc CA 1990
There was a complicated commercial dispute involving allegations of conspiracy. A claim by the plaintiffs for inducing or procuring a breach of contract would have been statute-barred in New York.
Held: Slade LJ said: ‘The judge’s approach to . .
CitedGregory v Portsmouth City Council HL 10-Feb-2000
Disciplinary proceedings had been taken by the local authority against Mr Gregory, a council member, after allegations had been made that he had failed to declare conflicts of interest, and that he had used confidential information to secure a . .
CitedWalton v Kirk QBD 3-Apr-2009
Coulson J considered RSC Order 52 to decide whether he had jurisdiction to hear a complaint of contempt of court arising from statements filed in County Court proceedings and said to be false.
Held: He did have jurisdiction: ‘At the outset of . .
CitedLand Securities Plc and Others v Fladgate Fielder (A Firm) CA 18-Dec-2009
The claimants wanted planning permission to redevelop land. The defendant firm of solicitors, their tenants, had challenged the planning permission. The claimants alleged that that opposition was a tortious abuse because its true purpose was to . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Torts – Other

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.472544

Attorney-General v Leveller Magazine Ltd: HL 1 Feb 1979

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 to restrain its publication after the trial. The journalists appealed against convictions for contempt.
Held: The importance of press and media reports in safeguarding the public character of court proceedings is reinforced by the privilege afforded to fair and accurate reports of the proceedings. It might well be contempt to frustrate the courts attempt properly to protect the identity of a witness by publications after the hearing, but in this case, the witness had himself given information in evidence which was capable of leading to his identity, and the appeal succeeded.
Lord Diplock said: ‘As a general rule the English system of administering justice does require that it be done in public: Scott v Scott [1913] AC 417. If the way that courts behave cannot be hidden from the public ear and eye this provides a safeguard against judicial arbitrariness or idiosyncrasy and maintains the public confidence in the administration of justice. The application of this principle of open justice has two aspects: as respects proceedings in the court itself it requires that they should be held in open court to which the press and public are admitted . . As respects the publication to a wider public of fair and accurate reports of proceedings that have taken place in court the principle requires that nothing should be done to discourage this.’
and ‘However, since the purpose of the general rule is to serve the ends of justice it may be necessary to depart from it where the nature or circumstances of the particular proceeding are such that the application of the general rule in its entirety would frustrate or render impracticable the administration of justice or would damage some other public interest for whose protection Parliament has made some statutory derogation from the rule.’
Lord Edmund-Davies referred to a contempt case in which the names of two victims of blackmail had been published at a late stage of the trial: ‘And it should be observed that no publication of the victims’ names took place until the judge was about to sum up, and there was accordingly no question of the administration of justice in that case being prejudiced by their being deterred from giving evidence for the prosecution. So the basis of the decision seems to be that publication was objectionable on the general ground that in any and every blackmail case the administration of justice in future prosecutions will be interfered with if victims names are published.’
He referred to publication of evidence received in camera: ‘And what appears certain is that at common law the fact that a court sat wholly or partly in camera (and even where in such circumstances the court gave a direction prohibiting publication of information relating to what had been said or done behind closed doors) did not itself and in every case necessarily mean that publication thereafter constituted contempt of court.
For that to arise something more than disobedience of the court’s direction needs to be established. That something more is that the publication must be of such a nature as to threaten the administration of justice either in the particular case in relation to which the prohibition was pronounced or in relation to cases which may be brought in the future.’
Lord Russell of Killowen drew the distinction between prejudicing the administration of justice in the case reported and prejudicing the administration of justice as a continuing process: ‘In my opinion it really goes without saying that behind the application (and the decision) lay considerations of the due administration of justice. In the first place an alternative to the via media adopted would be an application that ‘Colonel B’s’ evidence be taken in camera, and in principle the less that evidence is taken in camera the better for the due administration of justice, a point with which journalists certainly no less than others would agree. In the second place a decision on anonymity – the via media – would obviously, and for the same reasons, be highly desirable in the interest of the due administration of justice as a continuing process in future in such cases.’

Lord Diplock, Viscount Dilhorne, Lord Edmund-Davies, Lord Russell of Killowen and Lord Scarman
[1979] AC 440, [1978] 3 All ER 731, [1979] 2 WLR 247
lip
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedAttorney-General v Butterworth CA 1962
The court considered the penalisation of a witness who had given evidence in contempt of the court.
It would be a contempt for someone to threaten or interfere with a witness in order to deter them from giving evidence or in order to persuade . .
CitedAttorney-General v Times Newspapers Ltd HL 1973
The House considered the bringing of contempt proceedings by the Attorney General.
Held: The Attorney General must prove to the criminal standard of proof that the respondent had committed an act or omission calculated to interfere with or . .
CitedIn re F (otherwise A ) (A Minor) (Publication of Information) CA 1977
An allegation of contempt was made in proceedings related to the publication by a newspaper of extracts from a report by a social worker and a report by the Official Solicitor, both prepared after the commencement and for the purpose of the wardship . .
CitedJohnson v Grant SCS 1923
Lord Clyde, the Lord President considered whether the contemnor should be given early release from prison and said: ‘The mere circumstance that he presents a belated expression of contrition has, with regard to the public aspect of the matter, . .
CitedRegina v Border Television Ltd, Ex parte Attorney-General QBD 18-Jan-1978
The defendant media company was found guilty of contempt for reporting that the defendant had pleaded guilty at the outset of her trial to a number of other charges against her. No warning had been given. . .
CitedRegina vNewcastle Chronicle and Journal Ltd, Ex parte Attorney-General QBD 18-Jan-1978
. .
CitedRegina v Socialist Worker Printers and Publishers Ltd, Ex parte Attorney-General CA 1974
In a blackmail case, the court ordered non publication of the names of the complainants. Thinking they were not bound, the defendants published the names.
Held: The publishers and Mr Michael Foot were held to be in contempt of court in . .
CitedRex v Blumenfeld, Ex parte Tupper 1912
Where a defendant in a defamation action states clearly his intention to defend the action pleading justification, the court will not intervene to prevent repetition of the alleged defamatory words. . .
CitedRex v Davies, Ex parte Delbert-Evans and sub nom Delbert-Evans v Davies and Watson KBD 1945
Humphreys J said that there was ample authority for saying that ‘During the time between the conviction of the accused person on the indictment and his appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal, the case is not ended at all, but is still sub judice, or . .
CitedScott v Scott HL 5-May-1913
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 . .
CitedTaylor v Attorney-General 1975
(New Zealand – Court of Appeal) A court has power to make an explicit order directed to and binding on the public ipso jure as to what might lawfully be published outside the courtroom in relation to proceedings held before it. . .
CitedPA Thomas and Co v Mould QBD 1968
The court urged caution in the grant of an injunction to protect information for which confidence was claimed but where that claim might not succeed. O’Connor J refused to enforce by committal an injunction restraining the defendants from making use . .
CitedRex v Governor of Lewes Prison, Ex parte Doyle CA 1917
Viscount Reading CJ: ‘But, even though we had come to the conclusion that the warrant of commitment was bad on the face of it, as this is a case of commitment after conviction we are again not only entitled but bound to look at the conviction in . .
Appeal fromAttorney-General v Leveller Magazine Ltd QBD 1978
The AG sought committal for contempt of several journalists after the published the identity of Colonel B, a man who had given evidence at certain committal proceedings under protaction of an order for his anonymity.
Held: The orders were . .

Cited by:
CitedAttorney-General v Times Newspapers Ltd HL 1991
Injunctions had been granted to preserve the status quo in proceedings brought to prevent the publication of the book ‘Spycatcher’. The defendants published extracts, and now appealed a finding that they had acted in contempt.
Held: The . .
CitedRe S (A Child) CA 10-Jul-2003
The mother of the child on behalf of whom the application was made, was to face trial for murder. The child was in care and an order was sought to restrain publiction of material which might reveal his identity, including matters arising during the . .
CitedIndependent Publishing Company Limited v The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, The Director of Public Prosecutions PC 8-Jun-2004
PC (Trinidad and Tobago) The newspapers had been accused of contempt of court having reported matters in breach of court orders, and the editors committed to prison after a summary hearing: ‘In deciding whether . .
CitedPelling v Bruce-Williams, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs intervening CA 5-Jul-2004
The applicant sought an order that his application for a joint residence order should be held in public.
Held: Though there was some attractiveness in the applicant’s arguments, the issue had been fully canvassed by the ECHR. The time had come . .
CitedRegina v Legal Aid Board ex parte Kaim Todner (a Firm of Solicitors) CA 10-Jun-1998
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 . .
CitedRegina v Westminster City Council Ex Parte Castelli QBD 14-Aug-1995
An applicant, who was HIV positive, wished his identity to be concealed.
Held: Some publicity had already occurred A Contempt of Court anonymity order was not to be used to protect a litigant’s privacy. . .
CitedIn re S (a Child) (Identification: Restrictions on Publication) HL 28-Oct-2004
Inherent High Court power may restrain Publicity
The claimant child’s mother was to be tried for the murder of his brother by poisoning with salt. It was feared that the publicity which would normally attend a trial, would be damaging to S, and an application was made for reporting restrictions to . .
CitedHome Office v Hariette Harman HL 11-Feb-1982
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 . .
CitedRooney and Others, Re Attorney General’s Reference (Number 1 of 2005) CANI 11-Nov-2005
The defendants had been convicted or armed robbery. The Attorney General appealed against the sentences saying they were too lenient. Rooney argued that his plea of guilty had been after an indication by the judge and the reference was misguided. . .
CitedHM Customs and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc HL 21-Jun-2006
The claimant had served an asset freezing order on the bank in respect of one of its customers. The bank paid out on a cheque inadvertently as to the order. The Commissioners claimed against the bank in negligence. The bank denied any duty of care. . .
CitedNorfolk County Council v Webster and others FD 1-Nov-2006
The claimants wished to claim that they were victims of a miscarriage of justice in the way the Council had dealt with care proceedings. They sought that the proceedings should be reported without the children being identified.
Held: A judge . .
CitedLM, Re (Reporting Restrictions; Coroner’s Inquest) FD 1-Aug-2007
A child had died. In earlier civil proceedings, the court had laid responsibility with the mother. Restrictions had been placed on the information which would effectively prevent the coroner conducting his inquest. The coroner sought a lifting of . .
CitedRegina v Murphy and Another CANI 1990
The two defendants were tried for the murder of two British Army corporals. The prosecution adduced the evidence of a number of television journalists who, in the course of their work, had filmed the scene of the killing. The judge gave leave that . .
CitedRegina v Davis HL 18-Jun-2008
The defendant had been tried for the murder of two men by shooting them at a party. He was identified as the murderer by three witnesses who had been permitted to give evidence anonymously, from behind screens, because they had refused, out of fear, . .
CitedRegina v Evesham Justices, ex parte McDonnagh QBD 1988
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 . .
CitedTimes Newspapers Ltd and others v Regina and others CMAC 24-Oct-2008
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 . .
CitedTimes Newspapers Ltd and others v Soldier B CACD 24-Oct-2008
(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 . .
CitedHM Attorney General v Associated Newspapers Ltd and Others QBD 9-Dec-1992
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 . .
CitedMohamed, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No 4) Admn 4-Feb-2009
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 . .
CitedAl Rawi and Others v The Security Service and Others CA 4-May-2010
Each claimant had been captured and mistreated by the US government, and claimed the involvement in and responsibility for that mistreatment by the respondents. The court was asked whether a court in England and Wales, in the absence of statutory . .
CitedHarper and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Aldershot Magistrates Court Admn 8-Jun-2010
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. . .
CitedAllen v The Grimsby Telegraph and Another QBD 2-Mar-2011
The claimant sought to prevent publication of his name in the context of the making of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO). He had been convicted of offences against sex workers. An order had been made preventing disclosure of his address, but . .
CitedAl Rawi and Others v The Security Service and Others SC 13-Jul-2011
The claimant pursued a civil claim for damages, alleging complicity of the respondent in his torture whilst in the custody of foreign powers. The respondent sought that certain materials be available to the court alone and not to the claimant or the . .
CitedGuardian News and Media Ltd, Regina (on The Application of) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court CA 3-Apr-2012
The newspaper applied for leave to access documents referred to but not released during the course of extradition proceedings in open court.
Held: The application was to be allowed. Though extradition proceedings were not governed by the Civil . .
CitedRegina v D(R) Misc 16-Sep-2013
Crown Court at Blackfriars – the court was asked to what extent a witness wanting, from religious conviction, to hide her face with the niqaab form of Islamic dress should be allowed to do so, whilst giving evidence.
Held: The court considered . .
CitedMX v Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust and Others CA 17-Feb-2015
Application was made for approval of a compromise of a claim for damages for personal injury for the child. The court now considered whether an order should be made to protect the identity of the six year old claimant.
Held: An order should . .
CitedH v A (No2) FD 17-Sep-2015
The court had previously published and then withdrawn its judgment after third parties had been able to identify those involved by pulling together media and internet reports with the judgment.
Held: The judgment case should be published in . .
CitedA v British Broadcasting Corporation (Scotland) SC 8-May-2014
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 . .
CitedHM Solicitor General v Cox and Another QBD 27-May-2016
Applications for committal of the defendants for having taken photographs of court proceedings when their friend was being sentenced for murder and publishing them on Facebook. The SG urged that the offences had aggravating features taking the . .
CitedPNM v Times Newspapers Ltd and Others SC 19-Jul-2017
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 . .
CitedSarker, Regina v CACD 13-Jun-2018
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 . .
CitedTimes Newspapers Ltd and others v Regina CACD 30-Jul-2007
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, . .
CitedRegina v Horsham Justices ex parte Farquharson CA 1982
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Media, Criminal Practice, Magistrates

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.175469

Attorney-General v Times Newspapers Ltd: HL 1973

The House considered the bringing of contempt proceedings by the Attorney General.
Held: The Attorney General must prove to the criminal standard of proof that the respondent had committed an act or omission calculated to interfere with or prejudice the due administration of justice; conduct is calculated to interfere with or prejudice the due administration of justice if there is a real risk, as opposed to a remote possibility, that interference or prejudice would result.
Lord Reid said: ‘I agree with your Lordships that the Attorney-General has a right to bring before the court any matter which he thinks may amount to contempt of court and which he considers should in the public interest be brought before the court. The party aggrieved has the right to bring before the court any matter which he alleges amounts to contempt but he has no duty to do so. So if the party aggrieved failed to take action either because of expense or because he thought it better not to do so, very serious contempt might escape punishment if the Attorney-General had no right to act. But the Attorney-General is not obliged to bring before the court every prima facie case of contempt reported to him. It is entirely for him to judge whether it is in the public interest that he should act.’
Lord Cross said: ‘It is easy enough to see that any publication which prejudges an issue in pending proceedings ought to be forbidden if there is any real risk that it may influence the tribunal . . But why, it may be said, should a publication be prohibited when there is no such risk? The reason is that one cannot deal with one particular publication in isolation. A publication prejudging an issue in pending litigation which is itself innocuous enough may provoke replies which are far from innocuous but which, as they are replies, it would seem unfair to restrain. So gradually the public would become habituated to, look forward to, and resent the absence of, preliminary discussions in the ‘media’ of any case which aroused widespread interest. An absolute rule, though it may seem to be unreasonable if one looks only to the particular case, is necessary in order to prevent a gradual slide towards trial by newspaper or television.’

Lord Cross, Lord Reid, Lord Simon of Glaisdale
[1973] 3 All ER 54, [1973] 3 WLR 298, [1974] AC 273
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedAttorney-General v Leveller Magazine Ltd HL 1-Feb-1979
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 . .
Citedin Re Lonrho Plc HL 1989
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 . .
CitedAttorney General v Michael Ronald Unger; Manchester Evening News Limited and Associated Newspapers Limited Admn 3-Jul-1997
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 . .
CitedJones, Re (Alleged Contempt of Court) FD 21-Aug-2013
The Solicitor General sought the committal of the respondent for alleged contempt of court. There had been repeated litigation between the respondent and her former husband as to whether the children should live in Spain with the father or in Wales . .
CitedHM Attorney General v Yaxley-Lennon QBD 9-Jul-2019
Application by Her Majesty’s Attorney General for an order committing the respondent to prison for contempt of court. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Media, Contempt of Court

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.180689

Coll v Floreat Merchant Banking Ltd and Others: QBD 3 Jun 2014

The court was asked whether it was possible to bring contempt proceedings against a solicitor for the breach of an undertaking other than one given to the court. The parties had been employee and employer. On the breakdown of that relationship, the employer took possession of a computer used by the employee. They disputed ownership. The applicant sought undertakings to protect the privacy of the computer, but it had already been despatched for an image to be taken of the hard drive. Undertakings were offered, but not accepted and no re-assurance had been given that the computer had not already been accessed. The image arrived and was inspect by the solicitor and showed files and information wrongly diverted by the employee. After assorted court orders, the claimant now sought to have the solicitors added so that contempt proceedings could be brought.
Held: The request failed. The question of whether the court has jurisdiction to commit for a breach of solicitor’s undertaking other than one made to the court has never been determined.
Hickinbottom J derived several principles, but in the light of the other procedures available regulating a solicitor’s conduct, and the difficulties inherent in such applications, any such intervention would have to be very rare: ‘Given the other procedures available, in my judgment, there will generally be no compelling reason for seeking to commit a solicitor in these circumstances. One can never say ‘never’; but, as presently advised, I cannot conceive of circumstances in which immediate committal proceedings would be appropriate.’

Hickinbottom J
[2014] EWHC 1741 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedEx parte Cobeldick CA 1883
The disciplinary jurisdiction of the High Court over solicitors includes the power to strike a solicitor off the Roll, to order him to deliver up money or documents received by him as a solicitor.
Bowen LJ said: ‘All that has been shewn has . .
CitedRe Gray v Coles 1891
North J said that there should be a special retainer to defend a suit as well as to institute it. There is power for the court to make an order setting aside an appearance the entry of which has not been authorised.
the court, having a . .
CitedUnited Mining and Finance Corporation Ltd v Becher 1910
Becher (a solicitor) received andpound;2,000 from a party with whom his Russian client was negotiating, on his undertaking that, if the negotiations were unsuccessful, he would pay it back. The negotiations were unsuccessful, but Becher would not . .
CitedMyers v Elman HL 1939
The solicitor had successfully appealed against an order for a contribution to the other party’s legal costs, after his clerk had filed statements in court which he knew to be misleading. The solicitor’s appeal had been successful.
Held: The . .
CitedGeoffrey Silver and Drake v Baines (trading as Wetherfield Baines and Baines) (a firm) CA 1971
The court’s summary jurisdiction over solicitors is extraordinary, and therefore should only be exercised sparingly (i) if justice requires this procedure to be adopted, as opposed to some other procedure.
There is a recognised jurisdiction to . .
CitedR and T Thew Ltd v Reeves (No 2) CA 2-Jan-1982
The remedy of an award of costs against a solicitor personally is only available to make good loss where the solicitor is guilty of inexcusable misconduct such as to merit reproof.
It is not always easy to separate the effect of a disciplinary . .
CitedUdall v Capri Lighting Ltd (in liquidation) CA 1987
A claim was made for the price of goods sold and delivered. The defendant’s solicitor gave an oral undertaking to his counterpart to procure the execution by directors of his client company of charges over their homes in return for an adjournment . .
CitedUnited Bank of Kuwait Ltd v Hammond and Others CA 1988
It will only be in the ordinary course of business of the firm for a solicitor to do an act where there was an underlying transaction of a kind which was part of the usual business of a solicitor. ‘On the facts represented to the [third party] would . .
CitedBishlawi v Minrealm Limited ChD 2007
Contempt can take a wide variety of forms, including disobedience of court judgments and orders, which for these purposes includes an undertaking to the court which, it is well-established, is equivalent to an injunction and can be enforced by . .
CitedIn Re A Solicitor 1966
A solicitor (Mr Lincoln) had given undertakings to hold certain leases to the order of the Bank, but did not have them. The court considered enforcement of the undertakings. Pennycuick J said: ‘Prima facie, it is open to Mr Lincoln to obtain that . .
CitedIn Re A Solicitor 1966
A solicitor (Mr Lincoln) had given undertakings to hold certain leases to the order of the Bank, but did not have them. The court considered enforcement of the undertakings. Pennycuick J said: ‘Prima facie, it is open to Mr Lincoln to obtain that . .
CitedRegina v Rimmington; Regina v Goldstein HL 21-Jul-2005
Common Law – Public Nuisance – Extent
The House considered the elements of the common law offence of public nuisance. One defendant faced accusations of having sent racially offensive materials to individuals. The second was accused of sending an envelope including salt to a friend as a . .
CitedRegina v Jones (Margaret), Regina v Milling and others HL 29-Mar-2006
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Legal Professions, Contempt of Court

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.526122

Bedfordshire Police Constabulary v RU and Another: FD 26 Jul 2013

bedfordshire_ruFD072013

The court was asked whether a police force can apply for committal for alleged breach of a forced marriage protection order made under Part 4A of the Family Law Act 1996 when the police were not the applicants who had obtained the relevant order.
Held: That the police force could not; it lacked standing to make the application.

Holman J
[2013] EWHC 2350 (Fam)
Bailii
Family Law Act 1996
Cited by:
CitedJones, Re (Alleged Contempt of Court) FD 21-Aug-2013
The Solicitor General sought the committal of the respondent for alleged contempt of court. There had been repeated litigation between the respondent and her former husband as to whether the children should live in Spain with the father or in Wales . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Contempt of Court, Family

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.513767

Attorney 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 assault. Some newspapers published articles about the alleged incident. He successfully applied for the proceedings to be stayed on the ground that the pre-trial press coverage of the case made it impossible for him to have a fair trial. The Attorney-General now applied for orders for contempt of court saying that the articles had created a substantial risk that the course of justice would be seriously impeded or prejudiced within the meaning of section 2 (2) of the 1981 Act. The court was asked what principles governed the assessment of the risk that a publication might prejudice the defendant’s right to a fair trial.
Held: Schiemann LJ said: ‘(1) Each case must be decided on its own facts;
(2) The Court will look at each publication separately and test matters as at the time of publication; nevertheless, the mere fact that, by reason of earlier publications, there is already some risk of prejudice does not prevent a finding that the latest publication has created a further risk;
(3) The publication in question must create some risk that the course of justice in the proceedings in question will be impeded or prejudiced by that publication;
(4) That risk must be substantial;
(5) The substantial risk must be that the course of justice in the proceedings in question will not only be impeded or prejudiced but seriously so;
(6) The Court will not convict of contempt unless it is sure that the publication has created this substantial risk of that serious effect on the course of justice;
(7) In making an assessment of whether the publication does create this substantial risk of that serious effect on the course of justice the following amongst other matters arise for consideration: (a) the likelihood of the publication coming to the attention of a potential juror; (b) the likely impact of the publication on an ordinary reader at the time of the publication; (c) the residual impact of the publication on a notional juror at the time of trial. It is this last matter which is crucial. One must remember that in this, as in any exercise of risk assessment, a small risk multiplied by a smaller risk results in an even smaller risk.
(8) In making an assessment of the likelihood of the publication coming to the attention of a potential juror the Court will consider amongst other matters: (a) whether the publication circulates in the area from which jurors are likely to be drawn, and (b) how many copies circulated.
(9) In making an assessment of the likely impact of the publication on an ordinary reader at the time of publication, the Court will consider amongst other matters: (a) the prominence of the article in the publication, and (b) the novelty of the content of the article in the context of likely readers of that publication.
(10) In making an assessment of the residual impact of the publication on a notional juror at the time of the trial, the Court will consider amongst other matters: (a) the length of time between publication and the likely date of trial, (b) the focusing effect of listening over a prolonged period to evidence in a case, (c) the likely effect of the judge’s directions to a jury’.

Schiemann LJ
[1997] 1 All ER 456, [1997] EMLR 284
Contempt of Court Act 1981 2(2)
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedHer Majesty’s Advocate v William Frederick Ian Beggs (Opinion No 2) HCJ 21-Sep-2001
The defendant complained that an article published on the Internet was a contempt of court in that it prejudiced his trial for murder by reference inter alia to previous proceedings against him. There were others also. The court was aksed whether . .
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 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: . .
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: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.248472

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council v Watson: FD 1 Sep 2011

doncaster_watsonFD2011

The defendant applied to be allowed to purge her contempt of court.
Held: The court first pointed out that the defendant had not been sentenced in secret, but in open court. The contempt had been serious leading to the identity of the child subject to the proceedings being spread about the internet. A sentence of imprisonment was appropriate and inevitable. The contemnor had however now done what she could to retrieve the situation and had sincerely apologised. The sentence of nine months would be suspended with immediate effect.

Sir Nicholas Wall P
[2011] EWHC 2376 (Fam)
Bailii
Citing:
CitedIn re S (a Child) (Identification: Restrictions on Publication) HL 28-Oct-2004
Inherent High Court power may restrain Publicity
The claimant child’s mother was to be tried for the murder of his brother by poisoning with salt. It was feared that the publicity which would normally attend a trial, would be damaging to S, and an application was made for reporting restrictions to . .
CitedHammerton v Hammerton CA 12-Apr-2007
Appeal against sentence of two months imprisonment for contempt of court. The court emphasised the need to ensure a fair process in such cases. The court was critical of the judge who sentenced a contemnor without hearing mitigation and without . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Family

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.444732

Erhire v E O-I (by his next friend): CA 24 Mar 2011

The mother appealed against a sentence of eight months imprisonment imposed for contempt of court in having broken an order intended to protect the child against being removed to Nigeria with a view to forcing him into a marriage. On complaint of a breach, she had undertaken to write letters which would secure his return. She did so, but then wrote additionally with the effect of countermanding the letter. She then failed to comply after being given further opportunity to mend the breach.
Held: The appeal failed. The judge had properly considered the points now raised on appeal, and bearing in mind the maximum sentence, this was clearly within the paramaters of a sentence proper for such a breach.

Lloyd, Wilson LJJ
[2011] EWCA Civ 555, [2011] Fam Law 794, [2011] 2 FLR 793
Bailii
Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007, Family Law Act 1996 63A
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedHale v Tanner CA 22-Aug-2000
When attaching a power of arrest on a non-molestation order the court should consider attaching it only to that element which restricts violence or proximity rather than to any part relating to harassment. When considering sentence for a breach, the . .
CitedCJ v Flintshire Borough Council CA 15-Apr-2010
The applicant appealed against a refusal to allow his early release from prison having been sentenced to 21 months for contempts of court.
Held: The appeal failed. The court set out eight questions which might be asked before allowing such a . .
CitedSlade v Slade CA 17-Jul-2009
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Family, Contempt of Court

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.439814

Sectorguard Plc v Dienne Plc: ChD 3 Nov 2009

The claimant alleged misuse of confidential information in the form of its customer list, and its charges to them. The defendant company was run by former employees of the claimant. A later allegation was made of accessing the defendant’s private emails. The defendant said that the claimant was racially motivated and should not have conduct of contempt proceedings.
Held: The claimant had avoided admitting or denying the reading of the emails and the racial motivation. The application for committal had no legitimate purpose: ‘Committal proceedings are an appropriate way, albeit as a last resort, of seeking to obtain the compliance by a party with the court’s order (including undertakings contained in orders), and they are also an appropriate means of bringing to the court’s attention serious rather than technical, still less involuntary, breaches of them. In my judgment the court should, in the exercise of its case management powers be astute to detect cases in which contempt proceedings are not being pursued for those legitimate ends. Indications that contempt proceedings are not so being pursued include applications relating to purely technical contempt, applications not directed at the obtaining of compliance with the order in question, and applications which, on the face of the documentary evidence, have no real prospect of success. Committal proceedings of that type are properly to be regarded as an abuse of process, and the court should lose no time in putting an end to them . .’
The committal application was refused and the defendant released from the part of the undertaking which had proved impossible of performance.

Briggs J
[2009] EWHC 2693 (Ch)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
DistinguishedBIBA Limited v Stratford Investments Limited 1973
The court was asked whether a breach of an undertaking gave rise to the same consequences under RSC Order 45 rule 5 as the breach of an order. . .
CitedAttorney General of Belize and others v Belize Telecom Ltd and Another PC 18-Mar-2009
(Belize) A company had been formed to manage telecommunications in Belize. The parties disputed the interpretation of its articles. Shares had been sold, but the company was structured so as to leave a degree of control with the government. It was . .
CitedKJM Superbikes Ltd v Hinton CA 20-Nov-2008
The claimant had been sued for the misuse of trademarks by selling motorcycles imported via a parallel market. It claimed that the defendant had filed false evidence in that action, and now appealed a refusal by the judge to bring contempt . .
CitedAttorney-General for Tuvalu v Philatelic Distribution Corporation Ltd CA 1990
Where a company is ordered not to do certain acts or gives an undertaking to the like effect and a director of that company is aware of the order or undertaking he is under a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that the order or undertaking is . .
CitedAdam Phones Ltd v Goldschmidt and Others CA 17-Aug-1999
Especially given the new emphasis on proportionality, a party who brought contempt proceedings, in the case of an inadvertent breach of an injunction, with a view solely to creating costs for the other party, could expect to face those costs . .
MentionedBhimji v Chatwani 1991
. .
CitedDow Jones and Co Inc v Jameel CA 3-Feb-2005
Presumption of Damage in Defamation is rebuttable
The defendant complained that the presumption in English law that the victim of a libel had suffered damage was incompatible with his right to a fair trial. They said the statements complained of were repetitions of statements made by US . .
CitedRe Hudson, Hudson v Hudson ChD 1966
The plaintiff’s marriage had been dissolved and her former husband was ordered to pay her maintenance at a specified rate. The husband subsequently filed evidence that he was unable to comply with that order but offered to undertake to pay one-third . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Information, Contempt of Court

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.377355

HM Solicitor General v Cox and Another: QBD 27 May 2016

Applications for committal of the defendants for having taken photographs of court proceedings when their friend was being sentenced for murder and publishing them on Facebook. The SG urged that the offences had aggravating features taking the matter beyond the offence under section 41 of the 1925 Act.
Held: The appeal failed. The offence had been committed. Section 41 of the 1925 Act did not remove the possibility of a charge of contenpt of court for taking photographs in court.
Whilst it was pssible that a person taking photographs might not have the necessary mens rea for the offence: ‘A person cannot defend himself by evidence that, ignorant of the criminal law and unaware of the prohibition on photography, he could not intend to interfere with the administration of justice. If there were no signs prohibiting the taking of photographs in the part of the building where the act takes place or prohibiting the use of mobile phones in court, and there may be none say in canteens, the court could not be left powerless to deal with the risk created to the administration of justice as a result of ignorance of the criminal law on the part of the person whose acts create or risk creating the interference. The same applies to publication of illegally taken photographs in the Facebook postings.
Where the act which constitutes a contempt in the face of the court, or one closely akin to such a contempt, is not a crime, the deliberate breach of a court order of which he has notice will be sufficient. It is not necessary that the person additionally intended by his breach to interfere with the administration of justice, though for the reasons we have set out and which were considered in Dallas, it will generally readily be inferred that such an intention is established. It does not matter in principle whether the order is specific, as in a judge’s direction to a jury on internet searches, or general, as in the public notices in court buildings. The latter are there, either reflecting the criminal law, or, where not, expressing what every judge requires and relies on to let the public and participants know what is required for the administration of justice. Where a person knows of the court order and deliberately breaches it, he knows that the prohibition which he breaches was put in place to prevent interference with the course of justice. Therefore, the questions whether the breach was knowing and deliberate and whether it was intended to interfere with the course of justice amount to the same question, even if the person may not have realised or understood quite how the administration of justice could be interfered with. He would know that it would be put at risk.’

Thomas LCJ L, Ouseley J
[2016] EWHC 1241 (QB), [2016] EMLR 22, [2016] 2 Cr App R 15
Bailii
Criminal Justice Act 1925 41
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedAttorney-General v Leveller Magazine Ltd HL 1-Feb-1979
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 . .
CitedAttorney-General v Newspaper Publishing plc CA 1987
The court explained the common law basis of the law of contempt of court. Lloyd LJ said: ‘Since the test of contempt is not a breach of the order but interference with the administration of justice, it follows that at common law a contempt may be . .
CitedAttorney-General v Sport Newspapers Ltd QBD 24-May-1991
The newspaper was accused of disclosing details of the previous convictions of an absconded suspect in a murder investigation, despite a prior warning from the police that any such publication would be likely to prejudice future criminal . .
CitedSchot and Another, v Regina CACD 12-May-1997
Jurors, after retirement refused to deliver a verdict claiming personal reasons. The were summoned to court to answer charges of contempt of court. Explaining the contempt proceedings that the jurors faced, the trial judge said: ‘[I]n so far as . .
CitedRegina v Vincent D (Contempt of Court: Illegal Photography) CACD 2004
The appellant was the brother of the defendant in a major drugs trial, which involved a protected witness. He took a photograph in the canteen area, and another from the public gallery facing towards the witness box, witness and bench. The quality . .
CitedRobertson and Another v Her Majesty’s Advocate HCJ 7-Nov-2007
Gough, ‘the naked rambler’, argued that his desire to appear naked in court, an act which he characterised as a fundamental freedom, was not an act calculated to offend the authority and dignity of the court; in order for his naked appearance to . .
CitedAttorney General v Dallas Admn 23-Jan-2012
The A-G, using RSC Order 52, sought a finding that the defendant was in contempt when, as a juror she had conducted internet research about the case, revealing her results to other jury members.
Held: She was in contempt. She had deliberately . .
CitedHM Attorney General v Davey Admn 29-Jul-2013
The Attorney general sought the committal of the defendants for contempt of court alleging their misbehaviour as jurors. One had posted to a facebook account about the trial and lied about it to the judge. The second, in a different trial, had . .
CitedHM Attorney General v Davey Admn 29-Jul-2013
The Attorney general sought the committal of the defendants for contempt of court alleging their misbehaviour as jurors. One had posted to a facebook account about the trial and lied about it to the judge. The second, in a different trial, had . .
CitedMorris v Crown Office CA 1970
The applicants had been engaged in a calculated and coordinated campaign of disruption of the court.
Held: ‘The archaic description of these proceedings as ‘contempt of court’ is in my view unfortunate and misleading. It suggests that they are . .
CitedDallas v The United Kingdom ECHR 11-Feb-2016
Test for contempt was accessible and foreseeable.
The applicant had been convicted of contempt of court in that whilst acting as a juror, and in defiance of an explicit direction from the judge had researched the defendant in the internet, and passed on her findings to other jurors.
Held: the . .

Cited by:
CitedHM Attorney General v Yaxley-Lennon QBD 9-Jul-2019
Application by Her Majesty’s Attorney General for an order committing the respondent to prison for contempt of court. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Crime, Criminal Sentencing

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.564987

Gubarev and Another v Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd and Another: QBD 6 Aug 2020

Wrongful Transmission of Distanced Hearing

In a defamation case, the solicitors representing one party had live streamed a video of a defamation trial to several individuals outside the jurisdiction without the Court’s permission. The trial took place during the Coronavirus pandemic, and conducted at a distance. There had been discussions between the judge and solicitors in advance about the conditions and restrictions for remote access.
Held: ‘The judge’s Order (and his Reasons) could not have been clearer. The solicitors ought to have supplied copies of it to their clients, or at least to have explained its effect so as to avoid any possibility of a misunderstanding arising in the future. We would also have expected the solicitors to provide a copy of the Order to the transcribers, so that the transcribers could be in no doubt either as to what it was they were, or were not, permitted to do. Neither of these things happened.’ The proceedings were recorded and transmitted via Zoom, the link to the broadcast having been given out to some individuals and then passed on by them.
The solicitors having referred themselves to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority the Court noted the seriousness of the breaches in this case.
‘Once live streaming or any other form of live transmission takes place, however, the Court’s ability to maintain control is substantially diminished, in particular where information is disseminated outside the jurisdiction, as happened in this case. The opportunity for misuse (via social media for example) is correspondingly enhanced, with the risk that public trust and confidence in the judiciary and in the justice system will be undermined. In these circumstances, it is critical that those who have the conduct of proceedings should understand the legal framework within which those proceedings are conducted, and that the Court is able to trust legal representatives to take the necessary steps to ensure that the orders made by the Courts are obeyed.’

Dame Victoria Sharp P
[2020] EWHC 2167 (QB), [2020] WLR(D) 464, [2020] 4 WLR 122
Bailii, WLRD
Contempt of Court Act 1981 9, Criminal Justice Act 1925 41
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedSpurrier, Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for Transport Admn 2019
Live streaming of video and audio from a court room is prohibited. . .
CitedHamid, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department Admn 30-Oct-2012
Sir John Thomas P said: ‘The court . . intends to take the most vigorous action against any legal representatives who fail to comply with its rules. If people persist in failing to follow the procedural requirements, they must realise that this . .
CitedSathivel, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department Admn 26-Apr-2018
The court dealt with a complaint as to a solicitor’s alleged failings to meet professional and ethical standards required of those conducting proceedings on behalf of clients in immigration and asylum cases. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Legal Professions, Contempt of Court

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.653078

Slade v Slade: CA 17 Jul 2009

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 the first sentence. It is the conduct which is not twice punishable: ‘even if a civil judge were to regard the punishment given by the criminal court for certain conduct as too lenient, it would be improper for him to use his power of committal in respect of that self-same conduct in order to top up the punishment to what he regards as a proper level. What he must do is to sentence only for such conduct as was not the subject of the criminal proceedings.’
It would be good practice for the court which imposes a sentence of imprisonment for contempt always expressly to ask itself in judgment whether the sentence might properly be suspended.
Wall LJ discussed the court’s role on an appeal against sentence for contempt of court: ‘The result, I think, is that this court is unlikely to interfere unless it is of the view that the sentence passed is manifestly disproportionate or excessive. The judge is local, on the ground, and has the ‘feel’ of the case. Any tinkering by this court is to be avoided.’

Lord Justice Ward, Lord Justice Wall and Lord Justice Wilson
[2009] EWCA Civ 748, Times 20-Aug-2009, [2010] 1 FCR 227, [2009] Fam Law 925, [2010] 1 WLR 1262, [2010] CP Rep 3, [2010] 1 FLR 160
Bailii
Contempt of Court Act 1981 14, Protection from Harassment Act 1997 3
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedSmith v Smith CA 1991
A husband committed two breaches of a non-molestation order; breaking the terms of a suspended sentence of committal. The breaches were extremely serious: the first was setting fire to his wife’s house and the second was assaulting her so severely . .
CitedHale v Tanner CA 22-Aug-2000
When attaching a power of arrest on a non-molestation order the court should consider attaching it only to that element which restricts violence or proximity rather than to any part relating to harassment. When considering sentence for a breach, the . .
Applied with commentsLomas v Parle CA 18-Dec-2003
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 . .
CitedDirector of Public Prosections v Tweddell QBD 2001
In the county court the husband had been committed to prison for three months for assaulting his wife in breach of an injunction. He was than charged in the magistrates’ court in respect of the same assault.
Held: The Court allowed the . .
CitedBrewer v Brewer CA 1989
Purchas LJ considered an appeal against sentence in contempt of court, where the behaviour would in any event be criminal and said that: ‘in most cases where there is not a previous record of criminal violence, the court would normally find it . .
CitedHead v Orrow CA 16-Dec-2004
A court asked to sentence for contempt of court is not sentencing for the criminal equivalent of what the contemnor has done, and ‘Great care must be taken, if there are concurrent criminal or civil proceedings, to ensure that sentences in two or . .
CitedHammerton v Hammerton CA 12-Apr-2007
Appeal against sentence of two months imprisonment for contempt of court. The court emphasised the need to ensure a fair process in such cases. The court was critical of the judge who sentenced a contemnor without hearing mitigation and without . .

Cited by:
CitedErhire v E O-I (by his next friend) CA 24-Mar-2011
The mother appealed against a sentence of eight months imprisonment imposed for contempt of court in having broken an order intended to protect the child against being removed to Nigeria with a view to forcing him into a marriage. On complaint of a . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Family

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.349051

Broomleigh Housing Association Ltd v Okonkwo: CA 13 Oct 2010

The court considered an application for committal where the evidence was not so conclusive as to allow committal, but where a suspended order might assist in ensuring better compliance. O had failed on several occasions to attend court to be questioned as to his means. Eventually a suspended order was made, but the defendant denied receiving notice of the earlier hearing.
Held: The appeals were allowed. Whatever the practical sense, the decision in Islamic Investment was, it was inconsistent with such orders being made routinely: ‘Rule 71.8 gives the court power to make a committal order, but that requires the exercise of discretion, which in turn requires consideration of the circumstances of the contempt. Committing a person to prison for contempt of court is a serious step, too serious, in my view, to be undertaken simply as a matter of routine without enquiring into the nature of the contempt and the circumstances in which it has been committed and giving reasons, at any rate briefly, for the decision. ‘

Carnwath, Moore-Bick, Wilson LJJ
[2010] EWCA Civ 1113, [2010] 42 EG 104, [2011] HLR 5, [2011] CP Rep 4
Bailii
Civil Procedure Rules 71.8
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedIslamic Investment Company of the Gulf (Bahamas) Ltd v Symphony Gems Nv and others CA 11-Mar-2008
The judgment debtor was ordered to attend for questioning under Rule 71.2. The attendance was adjourned several times, and at last to 31st January 2008. He was under investigation in India and needed permission to travel, which was given but only . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Litigation Practice

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.425187

Broxbourne Borough Council v Robb and Others: QBD 27 Jun 2011

The Council applied for the committal of the defendant for an alleged breach of a without notice injunction. Notice of the injunction had been placed at the site, requiring nobody to move caravans onto the land.
Held: The application succeeded. Having examined the case law the need for committal was established. The defendant was to be committed to prison for 28 days, that sentence suspended for 4 weeks to allow him to remove the caravans and for the children to finish their school term. A fine would be insufficient to mark the seriousness of need to obey court orders.

Cranston J
[2011] EWHC 1626 (QB)
Bailii
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 187B
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedRegina v Lincolnshire County Council Ex Parte Atkinson; Regina v Wealden District Council Ex Parte Wales and Others QBD 3-Oct-1995
A local Authority must make proper welfare enquiries before seeking to remove unlawful campers. The new draconic legislation must be seen in its context. The commons of England provided lawful stopping places for people whose way of life was or had . .
CitedCala Homes (South) Ltd, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Another CA 27-May-2011
The respondent had circularised local authorities to say that when assessing future local housing needs a proper material consideration was the proposed Localism Bill which would lead to the replacement of ‘Regional Spatial Strategies’ on which such . .
CitedCala Homes (South) Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Another Admn 10-Nov-2010
Regional Spatial Stategies, setting targets for new homes within regions, and governing planning consents were to be withdrawn by the respondent and replaced in due course by a new planning bill. The claimant objected that this could only be . .
CitedBrentwood Borough Council v Ball and Others QBD 8-Oct-2009
The court refused the local authority an injunction to remove gypsies occupying land in beach of planning controls. . .
CitedO’Brien and others v South Cambridgeshire District Council CA 24-Oct-2008
The court considered the use of injunctions to restrain breaches of planning control. The applicants were gypsies who had taken up occupation of land in mobile homes. The respondent had given them twelve months for them to find alternative . .
CitedRegina v Newland CACD 1987
The appellant, a woman of gypsy descent had been fined for breach of a planning enforcement order. The crown court judge had concluded cursorily that her planning appeal was hopeless and simply designed to frustrate the local authority. By the time . .
CitedGuilford Borough Council v Smith QBD 18-May-1993
An injunction had been obtained to enforce planning controls against the defendant gypsies, and the council now sought committal for breach.
Held: Committal was refused. Only a deliberate or wilful contempt attracted imprisonment and the . .
CitedGuilford Borough Council v Smith QBD 18-May-1993
An injunction had been obtained to enforce planning controls against the defendant gypsies, and the council now sought committal for breach.
Held: Committal was refused. Only a deliberate or wilful contempt attracted imprisonment and the . .
CitedZH (Tanzania) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 1-Feb-2011
The respondent had arrived and claimed asylum. Three claims were rejected, two of which were fraudulent. She had two children by a UK citizen, and if deported the result would be (the father being unsuitable) that the children would have to return . .
CitedBaker and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Others CA 28-Feb-2008
Dyson LJ considered the interaction between race relations law and planning permission in the context of gypsy encampments. He looked at section 71 of the 1976 Act and said: ‘In my judgment, it is important to emphasise that the section 71(1) duty . .
CitedSouth Cambridgeshire District Council v Gammell CA 2005
The Council had taken out an injunction under section 187B of the 1990 Act to prevent unknown persons placing caravans on certain lands. The defendants acted in breach of those injunctions, and the Council requested their committal for contempt. The . .
CitedWrexham County Borough Council v Berry; South Buckinghamshire District Council v Porter and another; Chichester District Council v Searle and others HL 22-May-2003
The appellants challenged the refusal to grant them injunctions to prevent Roma parking caravans on land they had purchased.
Held: Parliament had given to local authorities exclusive jurisdiction on matters of planning policy, but when an . .
CitedMid-Bedfordshire District Council v Thomas Brown and others CA 20-Dec-2004
The land owners, gypsies, had purchased agricultural land intending to occupy it as residential land in breach of green belt planning controls. The council had obtained an injunction, but appealed its suspension.
Held: The council’s appeal . .
CitedSouth Bucks District Council v Smith and Another QBD 23-Feb-2006
David Clarke J held that in the light of paragraphs 45 and 46 of circular 1/06, it would be disproportionate to force a gypsy family to leave their site situated in the green belt. They had occupied it in breach of planning control for thirty-two . .
CitedSouth Bedfordshire District Council v Price and Others CA 5-May-2006
The defendants sought to appeal orders restraining them from the use of their land for residential purposes, and were awaiting the outcome of their appeal. They now appealed against the enforcement of committal orders for their breaches of the . .
CitedWychavon District Council v Rafferty and others CA 27-Apr-2006
The council had obtained a without notice injunction restraining Romany gypsies from stationing caravans on certain land. They subsequently applied for planning permission to use the land to have three mobile homes and several touring caravans. The . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Planning

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.441225

Otkritie International Investment Management and Others v Urumov: CA 14 Oct 2014

The claimants brought proceedings against several defendants. There had been a series of hearings conducted by a single judge leading to findings that several defendants had been involved in a fraud. The defendants sought recusal of that judge saying that his extensive involvement in the earlier proceedings left a risk of an appearance of bias. The judge agreed, and the claimants appealed.
Held: The appeal was allowed. The judge should not have recused himself.

There is a consistent body of authority to the effect that bias is not to be imputed to a judge by reason of his previous rulings or decisions in the same case (in which a party has participated and been heard) unless it can be shown he is likely to reach his decision ‘by reference to extraneous matters or predilections or preferences’. There can be no suggestion that Eder J would proceed in the present case by reference to such matters. He felt that he had been accused of actual malice, and had based his decision to recuse, but ‘the mere fact that a litigant decides to raise the stakes in that way cannot give rise to any difference of legal principle.’
‘in Dar’s case the judge felt that the informed observer could not have the necessary confidence in the proceedings when the judge had already considered the essential evidence that would be deployed on the committal application and had come to the conclusion that the witnesses giving it were lying to him. A recusal application is a very personal matter for the judge to decide and this court will seldom interfere with this delicate jurisdiction. The overall feeling I have from reading Andrew Smith J’s judgment is that he himself felt uncomfortable about reconsidering essentially the same evidence on the very same issue which he would have to decide in the contempt application. ‘
‘The general rule is that he should not recuse himself, unless he either considers that he genuinely cannot give one or other party a fair hearing or that a fair minded and informed observer would conclude that there was a real possibility that he would not do so . . there must be substantial evidence of actual or imputed bias before the general rule can be overcome. All of the cases, moreover, emphasise that the issue of recusal is extremely fact-sensitive.’

Laws, Longmore, Moore-Bick LJJ
[2014] EWCA Civ 1315
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedPorter and Weeks v Magill HL 13-Dec-2001
Councillors Liable for Unlawful Purposes Use
The defendant local councillors were accused of having sold rather than let council houses in order to encourage an electorate which would be more likely to be supportive of their political party. They had been advised that the policy would be . .
CitedNathan v Smilovitch and Another CA 13-May-2002
Application to set aside leave to appeal.
Held: It is a rare case in which, once permission to appeal has been granted it is appropriate to set it aside. . .
CitedLivesey v New South Wales Bar Association 20-May-1983
High Court of Australia – Courts and Judges – Bias – Prejudgment of issues and of credibility of witness – Refusal to withdraw.
The defendant barrister resisted an application to strike his name off the roll. B, at the time a law student and . .
CitedBahai v Rashidian CA 1985
The claimant’s solicitor had given evidence in support of the claim and the judge had been very critical of that evidence. The defendant sought an order that the solicitor be jointly liable with his client for the defendant’s costs and the solicitor . .
CitedVakauta v Kelly 1989
(High Court of Australia) The majority held that the first instance judge fell on the wrong side of ‘an ill-defined line beyond which the expression by a trial judge of preconceived views about the reliability of particular medical witnesses could . .
CitedArab Monetary Fund v Hashim and Others (No 8) CA 30-Apr-1993
It was suggested that Chadwick J should not continue with the case, having heard previous hearings. He refused to recuse himself. The defendant appealed.
Held: Counsel must use his own and conscientious judgment that there was proper evidence . .
CitedLocabail (UK) Ltd, Regina v Bayfield Properties Ltd CA 17-Nov-1999
Adverse Comments by Judge Need not be Show of Bias
In five cases, leave to appeal was sought on the basis that a party had been refused disqualification of judges on grounds of bias. The court considered the circumstances under which a fear of bias in a court may prove to be well founded: ‘The mere . .
CitedP v The General Council of the Bar; Re P (A Barrister) 24-Jan-2005
(Visitors to the Inns of Court) A Disciplinary Tribunal was convened by the President of COIC pursuant to the 2000 Regulations. It found the barrister guilty of misconduct and suspended her from practice for three months. The Visitors appointed to . .
CitedFairclough Homes Ltd v Summers SC 27-Jun-2012
The respondent had made a personal injury claim, but had then been discovered to have wildly and dishonestly exaggerated the damages claim. The defendant argued that the court should hand down some condign form of punishment, and appealed against . .
CitedEx Parte Lewin; In re Ward 1946
(Australia – New South Wales) The court heard an an application for a rule nisi for a writ of statutory prohibition directed to a magistrate in proceedings by a landlord for the recovery of premises. The magistrate had already heard and determined a . .
CitedDobbs v Triodos Bank Nv (No 1) CA 15-Apr-2005
The defendant a litigant in person sought to stay his appeal. He asked the court to stay his appeal so that he could get legal aid, and to encourage the LSC to grant legal aid.
Held: The court refused. The defendant asserted that courts would . .
CitedJSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov (Recusal) CA 28-Nov-2012
The question was whether a judge had been right not to recuse himself as the nominated judge of trial, in circumstances where he had had to hear, prior to trial, an application to commit one of the parties for contempt of court and had found a . .
CitedDar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company and Another v Al-Sayed Bader Hashim Al Refai and Others ComC 11-Apr-2014
Applications as to management of committal application. Andrew Smith J had ruled in favour of the applicant/defendant that without notice orders made against them should be discharged because the claimants had misled the court and failed to comply . .
CitedRe K (A Child) CA 15-Jul-2014
Appeals by a father against orders made in wardship proceedings concerning M, a young boy who was born on 5 July 2012 and is currently in Singapore where he is being cared for by his paternal grandparents. The trial judge had made it plain to a . .
CitedRe K (A Child) CA 15-Jul-2014
Appeals by a father against orders made in wardship proceedings concerning M, a young boy who was born on 5 July 2012 and is currently in Singapore where he is being cared for by his paternal grandparents. The trial judge had made it plain to a . .

Cited by:
CitedHayden v Associated Newspapers Ltd QBD 11-Mar-2020
The claimant alleged defamation by the defendant, and the court now considered the meanings of the words complained of. Another person had been held by police for seven hours after identifying the claimant as a transgendered man.
Held: The . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Natural Justice, Litigation Practice

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.537539

Raymond v Honey: HL 4 Mar 1981

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 away expressly or by necessary implication by the fact of his imprisonment: ‘under English law, a convicted prisoner, in spite of his imprisonment, retains all civil rights which are not taken away expressly or by necessary implication . . In my opinion, there is nothing in the Prison Act 1952 that confers power to make regulations which would deny, or interfere with, the right of the respondent, as a prisoner, to have unimpeded access to a court. Section 47, which has already been quoted, is a section concerned with the regulation and management of prisons and, in my opinion, is quite insufficient to authorise hindrance or interference with so basic a right. The regulations themselves must be interpreted accordingly, otherwise they would be ultra vires. So interpreted, I am unable to conclude that either rule 34(8) – which is expressed in very general terms – or rule 37A(4), whether taken by themselves or in conjunction with Standing Orders, is in any way sufficiently clear to justify the hindrance which took place. The standing orders, if they have any legislative force at all, cannot confer any greater powers than the regulations, which, as stated, must themselves be construed in accordance with the statutory power to make them.’
Steyn L said: ‘By way of summary, we accept that section 47(1) of the Act of 1952 by necessary implication authorises some screening of correspondence passing between a prisoner and a solicitor. The authorised intrusion must, however, be the minimum necessary to ensure that the correspondence is in truth bona fide legal correspondence.’ but ‘rule 33(3) of the Rules of 1964 is extravagantly wide. The very technique of dealing in one provision with ordinary correspondence and legal correspondence is flawed. In our view the Secretary of State strayed beyond the proper limits of section 47(1) when he made rule 33(3).’

Lord Wilberforce, Steyn LJ
[1982] AC 1, [1981] UKHL 8, [1983] 1 AC 1, [1982] 1 All ER 756, (1982) 75 Cr App R 16, [1982] 2 WLR 465
Bailii
Prisons Act 1952 47(1), Prison Rules 1964 33(3)
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedRegina (on the Application of Ellis) v The Chief Constable of Essex Police Admn 12-Jun-2003
An officer proposed to print the face of a convicted burglar on posters to be displayed in the town. The court considered the proposal. The probation service objected that the result would be to make it more difficult for him to avoid criminality on . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Anufrijeva HL 26-Jun-2003
The appellant challenged the withdrawal of her benefits payments. She had applied for asylum, and been granted reduced rate income support. A decision was made refusing her claim, but that decision was, by policy, not communicated to her for several . .
CitedRegina (Daly) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 23-May-2001
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 . .
CitedNilsen, Regina (on the Application of) v Governor of HMP Full Sutton and Another Admn 19-Dec-2003
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 . .
CitedGillan and Quinton, Regina (on the Application of) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and Another CA 29-Jul-2004
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 . .
CitedRegina v Carroll and Al-Hasan and Secretary of State for Home Department Admn 16-Feb-2001
The claimants challenged the instruction that they must squat whilst undergoing a strip search in prison. A dog search had given cause to supect the presence of explosives in the wing, and the officers understood that such explosives might be hidden . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State Home Department, ex parte Leech (No 2) CA 20-May-1993
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 . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for The Home Department Ex Parte Simms HL 8-Jul-1999
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 . .
CitedNilsen v HM Prison Full Sutton and Another CA 17-Nov-2004
The prisoner, a notorious murderer had begun to write his autobiography. His solicitor wished to return a part manuscript to him in prison to be finished. The prison did not allow it, and the prisoner claimed infringement of his article 10 rights. . .
CitedRegina v Ashworth Hospital Authority (Now Mersey Care National Health Service Trust) ex parte Munjaz HL 13-Oct-2005
The claimant was detained in a secure Mental Hospital. He complained at the seclusions policy applied by the hospital, saying that it departed from the Guidance issued for such policies by the Secretary of State under the Act.
Held: The House . .
CitedWatkins v Home Office and others HL 29-Mar-2006
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 . .
CitedA, K, M, Q and G v HM Treasury Admn 24-Apr-2008
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.
CitedRegina v Deputy Governor of Parkhurst Prison, Ex parte Hague, Weldon v Home Office HL 24-Jul-1991
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 . .
CitedAB, Regina (On the Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice and Another Admn 4-Sep-2009
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 . .
CitedMedical Justice, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department Admn 26-Jul-2010
The claimant, a charity assisting immigrants and asylum seekers, challenged a policy document regulating the access to the court of failed applicants facing removal. They said that the new policy, reducing the opportunity to appeal to 72 hours or . .
CitedThakrar v The Secretary of State for Justice Misc 31-Dec-2015
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 . .
CitedSimm’s Application for Judicial Review; O’Brien’s Application for Judicial Review and Main’s Application for Judicial Review CA 4-Dec-1997
In two cases, long term prisoners who asserted their innocence were in touch with journalists. Challenges were made against conditions imposed on their access that materials obtained during the visits should not be disclosed by the journalists. A . .
CitedBourgass and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice SC 29-Jul-2015
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 . .
CitedMcCann v The State Hospitals Board for Scotland SC 11-Apr-2017
A challenge by request for judicial review to the legality of the comprehensive ban on smoking at the State Hospital at Carstairs which the State Hospitals Board adopted. The appellant, a detained patient, did not challenge the ban on smoking . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Prisons, Human Rights, Contempt of Court

Leading Case

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.183561