Is anything done by any individual (including all officers of the court)…

which affects the fair administration of justice = in criminal cases prejudice the defendant!!!


Cotton Hunt v. Clarke [1889] 58 (L.J.Q.B.) 490 [1] said that in his opinion:

“… it does technically become a contempt if pending a cause or before a cause even has begun, any observations are made or published to the world which tend in any way to prejudice the parties in the case.”

As the rules of equity prevail, and equity is about substance and not form, means in criminal cases the only person who can be prejudiced is the defendant.

Any breach of due process (as summed up) by Lord Diplock in Att-Gen v. Times Newspapers Ltd. [1974] [2] is contempt of Court:

 "The due administration of justice requires

first that all citizens should have unhindered access to the constitutionally established courts of criminal or civil jurisdiction for the determination of disputes as their legal rights and liabilities;

secondly, that they should be able to rely upon obtaining in the courts the arbitrament of a tribunal which is free from bias against any party and whose decision will be based upon those facts only that have been proved in evidence adduced before it in accordance with the procedure adopted in courts of law; and

thirdly that, once the dispute has been submitted to a court of law, they should be able to rely upon there being no usurpation by any other person of the function of the court to decide according to law.

Conduct which is calculated to prejudice any of these requirements or to undermine public confidence that they will be observed is contempt of court".