Q&As

If a person is committed for contempt of court and is sentenced to prison, will this appear on their criminal record?

read titleRead full title
Produced in partnership with David Gardner of No 5 Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 11/03/2019

The following Corporate Crime Q&A produced in partnership with David Gardner of No 5 Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • If a person is committed for contempt of court and is sentenced to prison, will this appear on their criminal record?

As was noted in Phonographic Performance Ltd v Ellis (t/a Bla Bla Bar), the power to imprison for contempt of court arises out of the inherent jurisdiction of the Court, but is subject to the provisions of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 (CCA 1981). By virtue of CCA 1981, s 14 a sentence of imprisonment may be imposed for contempt of court, but for no more than two years (see also Palmer v Tsai). This is limited to a period of one month for committal ordered by the inferior courts. Further, specific statutory powers may limit the period further.

The CCA 1981 does not expressly make contempt of court a criminal offence. Whether the contempt is a criminal offence is a question of whether the form of contempt is a civil or criminal contempt. As was noted in Re: Yaxley-Lennon:

‘It is sufficient to note that criminal contempts are those which broadly involve acts that threaten the adminis

Popular documents