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Law and the Media, 4th Edition by Estelle Overs, Tom Cassels, Tom Crone

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10 Contempt of Court

Simon Dowson-Collins

10.1 Introduction

Contempt of court is the improper interference with the administration of justice. Its origin lies in the rule of law that the court must be free to decide on the matters before it, unhindered by any outside influence. Its purpose is to ensure respect for the legal process and compliance with the remedies ordered by the court. The contempt laws are therefore aimed at those who undermine, obstruct or interfere with the workings of the court.

Contempt of court is the area of the law in which the press and broadcast media are most likely to exercise care in their day-to-day publication of news and features. Publishing a contempt is a serious offence. The penalty can be an unlimited fine ...

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