Wednesday 12 August 2015

Reporting Restrictions in Criminal Courts

"It is essential requisite of the criminal justice system that it should be administered in public and subject to public scrutiny"

That statement by the present Lord Chief Justice (Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd), is in the foreword to the April 2015 Reporting Restrictions in the Criminal Courts Guide (the Guide).  See also the Supplementary Note dated 30th July and which applies to Children and Young Persons.  Although the "Open Justice" principle remains as a foundation stone of the criminal justice system, it will be seen from the Guide that numerous exceptions exist.  Various recent legislation has come into force and this is addressed in the guide.

A commonly imposed order was a "section 39" order - under the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 s.39.  This no longer applies in criminal cases and is replaced by the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 s.45.  The public is generally excluded from Youth Courts (Children and Young Persons Act 1933 s.47) but exceptions exist for media representatives.

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