Answers from last week:
- Jigsaw identification — individual identifiable even though name not explicitly given, i.e., through multiple pieces of info
- Court sketches have to be done outside the court from memory
CPS media protocol is a protocol agreed between media organizations and crown prosecution service detailing how material (i.e., CCTV footage) used in court can be used in the media.
- If shown to the jury in open court, material then given to the media.
- § 8, Contempt of Court Act 1981 — offense to speak to or solicit info from a juror regarding jury deliberations.
- 12 jurors in criminal trial; 11-1 or 10-2 for majority verdict after period of at least 2 hours, unanimous decision preferred.
Questions for next week:
- What is Sec. 39 of Children and Young Persons Act?
- What is PACE, and what does it say about disclosure of journalist material to police?
- What is the meaning of the word “redaction”?
- In the broadcast media, what is the watershed?
- What is a Newton hearing?
Where in class?
Modules 1-3 are finished. First 14 chapters of textbook, plus human rights act, contempt of court act, PCC code of practice, Ofcom Broadcast code
What type of information can lead to contempt proceedings?
Photographs of defendant when ID is an issue (Child abduction cases; identification parades; etc.)
- Police press office will often make it known when identification is an issue.
- Barrister will argue witness was predisposed by what was published; can dramatically mess up a case.
- Previous convictions
Vilification of the defendant
- Jeffries case re: Joanna Yates — painted negative picture; resulted in libel damages and contempt prosecutions for Mirror Group and Sun. Would have discouraged witness to support Jeffries.
- Between the bad character and Jeffries case, “Contempt is now alive and kicking as a course of law”
Detailed account of the evidence against the defendant
- Talking about undisputed facts is okay, however, not giving detailed examinations of evidence against defendant
Details of confessions
- At trial, the confession itself may be open to debate. Could prejudice jury if a newspaper details facts of confession in the meantime.
Comment on the evidence
- Only what’s said in court without giving judgement
- Predictions on the verdict
- “Crimewatch” et al do reconstructions before arrests have been made, is okay.
- Comment on the evidence/credibility of witnesses
- Adding extrinsic material/information/images that are not part of the evidence
- Broad reconstructions of contested evidence
- Predictions on witnesses/the outcome of the trial
Legal argument in absence of jury
- Disclosable at end of trial but not while jury is in situ.
- “Voir dire” legal argument during course of the trial.
Guilty pleas not known to the jury
- Defendants might plea guilty in order to get lower sentence
Site visits showing jurors or identifying jurors.
- Jury visited murder site in Joanna Yates case; identifying jurors through these is contempt
What you should do:
- Use stock phrases to make clear these are only allegations and not proven fact
- Use quotes where possible
Victims of sexual offences
- Most victims gain automatic anonymity (absolute unless waived)
- Sexual Offences Amendment Act 1976 and 1992
Must remain anonymous
What is anonymous?
- Would they be recognized by own mother? If so, then not anonymous.
- Must be prevented; identification cannot be from random bits of info
- Pixellation/voice distortion/background
- Can be personal prosecuted
- Waiving anonymity must be in writing
- Takes place even after proceedings, ad infinitum, and even post mortem.
Filming at court