Contempt of Court

Publication Date 
01 March 2017

The Law Commission has nearly finished its review of the laws of contempt. Contempt of court is an ancient legal concept, but essentially it aims to make sure that courts have the ability to provide justice that is impartial, fair and effective.  

Commission President Douglas White says the Commission consulted widely in 2014 and, having heard many opinions and arguments, it will be finalising its report over the next two months.

"We hope to have a final report to the Minister in May."

Douglas White says the Commission knows there will be a lot of interest in the final report because it addresses some controversial issues, including what jurors can and cannot do during trials, and what the media can and cannot report.

"We are confident that our final report will take a complicated area of law and make recommendations designed to give everyone much more certainty about what the rules are. That will make it fairer and easier for everyone to do their job effectively – which was the whole point of contempt law in the first place."