Contempt: administration of justice, and private lives


Interference with administration of justice

The law of contempt applies in all fields of court proceedings: civil and criminal. It requires the alleged contemnor to be responsible in some way with the administration of justice. In this article it comes as civil contempt (moved over very quickly: ie disobedience of court orders); criminal contempt: holding the system up to ‘obloquy’ (see below); and publication of information in relation to private proceedings.

On 3 November 2016 the Divisional Court (Lord Thomas LCJ, Sir Thomas Etherington MR and Sales LJ) handed down a judgment in R (Miller & Anor) v The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2016] EWHC 2768 (Admin) (‘Miller’: the EU withdrawal case). Since then there has been some raucous reporting of comment from newspapers whose editorial line supported EU withdrawal. This included the Daily Mail whose headline, the day after the judgment, described the…

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