Contempt of Court

Hardcover | July 6, 2000

byC. J. Miller

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Contempt of court has been aptly described as the Proteus of the legal world, assuming an almost infinite diversity of forms. Its central concern is to protect the administration of justice in criminal and civil cases, addressing, for example, the perennial conflict between the requirementsof a fair and unprejudiced trial and those from freedom of expression. It is also concerned to protect witnesses from being victimized and courts from being subjected to destructive criticism in the press, or disruptive conduct during their proceedings. Similarly, it provides the ultimate sanctionto secure the enforcement of court orders. A further major clash of interests is between the demands of 'open justice' and the numerous restrictions on reporting which now exist, for example to confer anonymity on children and on complainants in sexual cases and on other vulnerable witnesses.These are discussed in detail, particularly in the light of the changes associated with the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999. This new and considerably expanded version of Professor Miller's classic work on the subject has been written against the background of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the ever-increasing importance of the European Convention of Human Rights. The compatibility (or otherwise) of existing law with'Convention rights' is discussed in detail in the light of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, many of which are not as inimical to the values traditionally advanced by the law of contempt as is sometimes assumed. Full discussion of the many changes in English law is accompanied byreferences to developments in such jurisdictions as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and, to a lesser extent, the United States of America. In particular the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has long since required Canadian courts to grapple with issues which are now confronting their UnitedKingdom counterparts. It is to be expected that such developments will increasingly be taken into account when reassessing our own law of contempt.

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Contempt of court has been aptly described as the Proteus of the legal world, assuming an almost infinite diversity of forms. Its central concern is to protect the administration of justice in criminal and civil cases, addressing, for example, the perennial conflict between the requirementsof a fair and unprejudiced trial and those fr...

C. J. Miller is at University of Birmingham.

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Format:HardcoverPublished:July 6, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198256973

ISBN - 13:9780198256977

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Table of Contents

AbbreviationsTable of CasesTable of Statutes1. Introduction2. Criminal and Civil Contempt of Court3. Procedure and Jurisdiction in Cases of Criminal Contempt4. Contempt in the Face of the Court5. Contempt through Interfering with Particular Legal Proceedings: Some General Considerations6. The Period during which Proceedings are Sub-Judice or Active7. Contempt in Relation to Particular Criminal Proceedings8. Contempt in Relation to Particular Civil Proceedings and Proceedings in Tribunals9. The Sub-Judice Rule: Mens Rea and the Scope of Responsibility10. Open Justice: Publicizing Judicial Proceedings11. Victimization of Jurors, Witnesses, and Other Persons After the Conclusion of Proceedings12. Scandalizing a Court or Judge13. Further Miscellaneous Categories of Contempt14. Civil Contempt of CourtAppendixIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Comprehensive and valuable book'Tom Welsh, Media Lawyer Sept/Oct 2000