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
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