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Sub judice rule

Description

The object of the discussion paper is in response to an earlier referral made by the Attorney General to generate a debate on the extent to which the law of contempt should be reformed or codified so as to reflect the conditions in which it may currently fall to be applied in the Islands.

Terms of Reference

On 10th January 2014 the Law Reform Commission published for public comment a Consultation Paper on the law of contempt. The object of the paper, which was in response to an earlier referral by the Attorney General, was to generate debate on the extent to which the law of contempt should be reformed or codified so as to reflect the conditions in which it may currently fall to be applied in the Islands.

However the initial reactions were principally from the media and concerned an issue which is central to any law of contempt, namely, how to achieve a proper balance between freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial. Therefore the paper discusses the rule commonly referred to as the "sub judice" rule, that is, the rule restricting (or, more accurately, postponing) publications commenting on pending court proceedings until after those proceedings are concluded.

Outcomes