In England and Wales, the contempt of court law is set out in the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and case law. The Contempt of Court Act 1981 was enacted after the European Court of Human Rights ruled in 1979 that the English contempt law violated article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The aim of this law is to ensure that the integrity of active court proceedings is protected. For instance, it prohibits journalists from publishing materials with the potential to prejudice ongoing court cases. Below are some important things you should know about contempt of court law, as explained by our law tutor in London.
Classification of Contempt
Contempt charges can either be criminal, strict liability, or civil.
Civil Contempt has to do with a person refusing to comply with a court order. Judges can make use of civil contempt sanctions to force a person to comply with the violated order.
Charges related to criminal contempt are punitive, meaning that they are intended to deter acts of contempt of the court by punishing offenders regardless of the outcomes of the underlying court proceedings. Therefore, if a person is incarcerated for criminal contempt, they cannot secure a release by simply complying with the court.
With strict liability rule, the conduct of a person may be deemed as contempt of the court if they tend to interfere with the natural course of justice in a given legal proceeding, irrespective of the intentions behind it. For instance, if a journalist publishes materials with substantial potential to seriously prejudicing an ongoing court case, then they could be charged with contempt.
Contempt of Court Law - The Takeaway
Contempt of the court can be punished by a fine or jail term, or both. If you would like to learn more about the UK’s contempt of court law, we at Advanced Law Tutors, have professional law tutors in London that can explain everything in details. Get in touch with us today for more information about our services.