Tag Archives: contempt

Court of Appeal grants “celebrity threesome” privacy injunction and then discharges it

The Supreme Court is currently considering an appeal against a decision of the Court of Appeal to discharge a non-disclosure injunction it granted itself earlier this year.  Until the Supreme Court has reached its decision the injunction in PJS v News Group Newspapers Ltd – the “celebrity threesome gagging order” – will remain in force.

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High Court hears internet contempt trials

The Attorney-General has appeared in person before the High Court to ask that two men be committed to jail for “acts likely to interfere with the administration of justice”.  In both instances the acts arise  from the use of the internet whilst jurors in criminal trial.  In an indication of how seriously the courts are treating the issue of internet use and contempt, the cases are being heard by sir John Thomas (President of the Queen’s Bench Division and the future Lord Chief Justice) and Mr Justice sweeney.

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County Court has power to refer contempt cases to Attorney-General

In the case of Utopia Tableware LTD v (1) BBP Marketing Ltd (2) British Bung Manufacturing Co Ltd [2013] EWPCC 28 Mr Justice Birss (sitting as a judge of the Patents County Court) ruled judges in the County Court are able to refer matters to the Attorney-General to consider whether contempt of court proceedings should be brought.

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Former solicitor found in contempt of court over McCann claims

Former solicitor Tony Bennett has been found in contempt of court for flagrantly breaching undertakings he had previously made to the court promising that he would not repeat allegations that Gerry and Kate McCann were guilty of, or suspected of, having caused the death of their daughter Madeline and had then disposed of her body and lied about what had happened.

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Family court jails property tycoon for failing to disclose assets

Property tycoon scot Young has been jailed for six months for failing to provide financial information in ancillary relief proceedings.  When Mr Young separated from his wife in 2006 he had been understood to be worth £400m.  However he claims to have lost his entire fortune overnight in a Russian deal.  The application for committal on 16 January 2013 came as a result of Mr Young failing to comply with orders to disclose details of the whereabouts of his wealth and how he was funding his lifestyle.

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Daily Mail and Daily Mirror fined for contempt of court over Milly Dowler reports

The Daily Mail and The Daily Mirror have each been fined £10,000 by the High Court over articles they published on 24 June 2011 following the conviction of Levi Bellfield for the murder and abduction of Milly Dowler.  At the time jurors were still deliberating over a separate count – the attempted kidnap of Rachel Cowles.  As a result of the ‘avalanche’ of seriously prejudicial adverse publicity the jury had to be discharged.

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Director and shareholder found in contempt for disposing of company’s good will

In Templeton Insurance Ltd v Motorcare Warranties Ltd & Ors [2012] EWHC 795 Mr Justice Eder heard an application for committal for contempt of court based on the alleged breach (or involvement in a breach) of a freezing injunction.

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Parliamentary Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions reports no need for legislation

set up in the wake of the spate of highly publicised privacy injunctions last year, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions has published its final report.  significantly, the report rejects criticisms that privacy law has beenjudge made, stating that it has evolved from the Human Rights Act 1998.  The report concludes that a statute defining the right to privacy is unnecessary.  Furthermore, it finds that a statutory definition of “public interest” is not required as this should be based on an exercise of judgement on a case by case basis.  The Committee is of the view that the courts are carrying out this task well.   The report also recommends, inter alia, that the Attorney-General be more proactive in bringing contempt proceedings when injunctions are breached, that courts direct that injunctions be served on social networking websites such as Twitter, that a new code of conduct for journalists should require subjects to be notified of stories where privacy is in issue and that a failure to notify should aggravate damages.

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Juror found in contempt for sharing findings of internet research

In Attorney-General -v- Theodora Dallas (2012) the Divisional Court heard that a jury member (Dallas) had conducted independent internet research in relation to a criminal trial she was sitting on. she had then discussed her findings with her fellow jury members.

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