- Does a criminal prosecution prevent civil contempt proceedings? (First Capital East Limited v Ilmi Plana & Anor)
- Practical implications
- The attempted fraud and criminal prosecution
- No fresh evidence for contempt proceedings
- Court details
Dispute Resolution analysis: The High Court has held that, in principle, the fact a criminal prosecution has taken place does not prevent the bringing of contempt proceedings on the same facts. While it is well established that punishment for contempt is no bar to the bringing of criminal proceedings, the converse was unprecedented. Although the decision is down to the exercise of the court’s discretion, the underlying principle behind the double jeopardy rule is likely to be relevant. Therefore, in practice, permission is unlikely to be granted except, for example, where important new evidence has come to light that was not presented to the jury in the criminal trial. In the present case, the court refused permission to bring committal proceedings as the individual had been acquitted and there was no such new, material evidence to allow a judge to reach a different conclusion.
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