The following Dispute Resolution practice note produced in partnership with Alexander West of Albion Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
ARCHIVED: This Practice Note has been archived and is not maintained.
This Practice Note is for historical reference only as it refers to CPR 81 as it was in force prior to 1 October 2020, and to Practice Direction 81 which is revoked in its entirety with effect from 1 October 2020. If you are dealing with a committal application post 1-October 2020 you need to refer to the current in force CPR 81 and the Practice Notes covering this, see: Contempt and committal—overview.
For the pre-1 October 2020 version of CPR 81 or Practice Direction 81, see:
This Practice Note considers the circumstances in which committal-type hearings can be heard in the absence of the alleged contemnor, particularly in light of the state’s article 6 obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (which appears as schedule 1 to the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998)).
It also considers cases when the committal hearings may be held in private despite the desirability of the principle of open justice.
Whether in a criminal trial, or quasi-criminal proceedings such as committals for contempt or writs of sequestration, there is no absolute right for a respondent to attend their trial. For further details about the nature of quasi-criminal proceedings, see Practice
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