Reporting restrictions in criminal cases
Produced in partnership with Thomas Evans of 3 Paper Buildings

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with Thomas Evans of 3 Paper Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Reporting restrictions in criminal cases
  • Guide for the judiciary and the media on reporting restrictions
  • Open Justice
  • Application for a trial in private
  • Automatic restrictions
  • Discretionary restrictions
  • Media and public access to court material
  • Media access to prosecution material

Reporting restrictions in criminal cases

Guide for the judiciary and the media on reporting restrictions

The fourth edition of the guide for judges and the media, Reporting Restrictions in the Criminal Courts (the Guide), was produced by the Judicial College, News Media Association, Society of Editors and the Media Lawyers Association in May 2016. It sets out the statutory and common law principles which should be applied in criminal cases.

It is important for defence representatives to understand what reporting restrictions may be sought and what may be challenged in the proper representation of a client.

Throughout the Guide, all references to the media include press, radio, TV, press agencies and online media, including individual users of social media websites.

The Guide specifies that it applies both to traditional media and broadcasters and to individual users of social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook.

A simple eight-point structured approach to consider whether the imposed reporting restrictions is set out in the Guide:

  1. (in the magistrates' court) seek legal advice from the clerk or legal adviser about whether the law allows for the exclusion of the media, withhold information, postpone or ban reporting before deciding if it is a proper use of power

  2. check the legal basis for the proposed restrictions: statutory powers or common law exceptions must be identified and only applied where relevant

  3. consider whether the proposed restriction

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