ændrew.com v8

Media Law lecture -- Court Reporting cont'd

November 14, 2011

Questions from last week:

  • Section 39 order — to surpress publication about details of a youth. Automatic ban in Youth Court.
  • PACE — Police And Criminal Evidence Act; fundamental piece of legislation concerning police powers. How suspects, evidence, etc. should be approached, how police can require media organizations to disclose material to be used as evidence.
  • Redaction — to remove parts of a document, whether for privacy, national security, etc.
  • Watershed — the time during which it’s assumed children no longer watch and more adult material can be shown. 9 pm and 5:30 am
  • Newton hearing — a trial where a judge tries to ascertain which party is telling the truth.

For next week:

  • What is a §4.2 order?
  • What is a §11 order?
  • What is a §46 order of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence?
  • What is the spy catcher principle?
  • Look at the definition of public interested in the PCC editor code and Ofcom Code of Practice


  • Ban under §8 preventing soliciting, publishing or broadcasting the deliberations of a jury, even after a trial has finished.

    • Cannot ask a juror why they made their decision.
    • Anything said in a jury room remains under wraps.
  • Juries instructed to listen to the evidence as presented and not sleuth around the on Internet
  • Case of a juror talking to a defendant via Facebook

    • Got 8 months for contempt of court
  • Since Sept. 2010, judges can allow tweeting in court

    • Can tweet in court, but have to get permission of judge via judge’s clerk
    • Must fairly and accurately report; viewed as a form of notation and with same contempt of court issues.
  • Open justice principle

    • Justice must be seen to be done, instead of simply being done.
  • R v.Felixstowe Justices (1987) — decided press are the eyes of the public and needs to be present in court.
  • Scott v. Scott (1913) — starting point of open justice

    • Divorce case, woman had disclosed what had went on in the private proceedings.
    • Press argued proceedings were not private. “Publicity is the very soul of justice.”
  • In re S (a child) (2004)

    • Mother charged with murder of child via salt poisoning
    • Other child placed in care; application made on behalf to stop reporting of case.
    • Lord Bingham: “A criminal trial is a public event … full contemporaneous reporting of criminal trials promotes…” public confidence in the courts system
    • Even though reporting may case embarrassment to parties, is secondary to courts remaining open. Natural consequence to trial process.

Reporting restrictions

  • §4(2) order

    • court may order publication of proceedings may be postponed to avoid a substantial risk of prejudice.

      • Staggered trial
      • R v Barot (2006) — 4(2) should not be given out lightly.
  • §11 order

    • can prohibit naming witnesses where necessary

      • Blackmail; police informants
      • Unlike §4(2), doesn’t end at close of proceedings
      • Doesn’t happen very often
      • R v Croydon Crown Court (2007)
  • §46 order

    • vulnerable witnesses
    • Youth witnesses et al
  • Challenging Court Orders

    • Have to be challenged in the proper way
  • Excluding press from court

    • Cases involving national security, family court cases
  • The Spycatcher Principle

    • If there’s an order against a single news organization, it applies to all. If you’re aware of it, it applies to you.
  • Payments to witnesses

    • Will be dealt with via Ofcom and PCC codes.
    • Payment, if made (and must be in the public interest), must be reported to the prosecution.
  • Payments to criminals

    • Tony Martin

      • Shot burglar while defending house, eventually public outcry resulted in charge being lowered to manslaughter.

        • Daily Mail paid for interview, PCC sided with them because it was in public interest, would not speak without payment, newspaper put info in context
  • Revisiting crimes

    • Not allowed to glorify gangland killings, etc.
    • Sensitivity to those that survived.
  • Filming criminal behaviour

    • No encouraging people to, say, light up a joint
    • Don’t give out “recipes” to commit crime.
  • CPS Protocol

    • Information is generally given out the day it’s shown

Ændrew Rininsland
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