Secretary of State for Defence v Guardian Newspapers Ltd (Tisdall Case): HL 1984

Lord Diplock discussed section 10 of the 1981 Act, saying: ‘The exceptions include no reference to ‘the public interest’ generally and I would add that in my view the expression ‘justice’, the interests of which are entitled to protection, is not used in a general sense as the antonym of ‘injustice’ but in the technical sense of the administration of justice in the course of legal proceedings in a court of law, or, by reason of the extended definition of ‘court’ in section 19 of the 1981 Act before a tribunal or body exercising the judicial power of the state’
Lord Diplock he said that the offence known as scandalising the court was ‘virtually obsolescent in England’.
Lord Diplock, with the agreement of three others of their Lordships expressed the view that in order to come within section 10 the newspaper had to establish that answering the question would lead to a ‘reasonable chance’ that the identity of the source would be revealed


Lord Diplock


[1985] AC 339, [1984] 3 All ER 601, [1984] 3 WLR 986


Contempt of Court Act 1981 10 19


England and Wales

Cited by:

AppliedX 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 . .
CitedKelly (A Minor) v British Broadcasting Corporation FD 25-Jul-2000
K, aged 16, had left home to join what was said to be a religious sect. His whereabouts were unknown. He had been made a ward of court and the Official Solicitor was appointed to represent his interests. He had sent messages to say that he was well . .
CitedRichard v British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Another ChD 26-May-2017
Disclosure of Journalists’s Source ordered
The claimant had been investigated in connection with allegations (not proceeded with) of historic sexual abuse. The first defendant received information in advance of a search of the claimant’s house, and filmed and broadcast this from a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Media

Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.445472