Any reform to the law on Official Secrets must provide robust protection for public interest disclosures and open justice – Lorna Woods, Lawrence McNamara and Judith Townend

28 06 2017

With the election now in the past, the wheels of government are beginning to grind again. While most eyes are on Brussels, it is important that the bright lights of Brexit do not draw attention away from other work that is resuming and ongoing. Among it, the Law Commission will continue its project that considers the revision of the laws on Official Secrets, with its final proposals expected later this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Espionage and the Law Commission: a reasoned consultation paper which requires a reasoned response

14 02 2017

law-commission-response_0The Law Commission is an independent body – currently chaired by Lord Justice Bean – which examines the present state of the law in various areas and, after consultation, makes proposals for reform.  These are invariably carefully researched, well argued proposals – many of which are, unfortunately, ignored by Governments which do not treat law reform as a legislative priority. Read the rest of this entry »

Contempt of court: brief legislative update – Alex Bailin QC and Edward Craven

22 04 2014

Houses-of-ParliamentWe have previously blogged on the Law Commission’s Consultation regarding reform of Contempt of Court and its Report on juror contempt. The Commission also recently published its follow-up Report on publication contempt. Read the rest of this entry »

Law Commission: A sensible proposal for online recording of reporting restrictions – Judith Townend

18 04 2014

Law Commission reforming the lawAmid concerns over proposed changes to the Contempt of Act 1981, through the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, which would introduce new statutory powers for the removal of online material*, it seems worth highlighting some separate recommendations on contempt and court reporting, published in late March 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

Law Commission Report on Contempt of Court: controversial reforms seek to secure fair trials and freedom of speech – Alex Bailin QC

10 12 2013

Law CommissionThe Law Commission has produced its eagerly awaited Report on juror misconduct and internet publications, following extensive consultation. The Commission had been urgently tasked with considering reform in this area, following a number of high profile contempt cases involving errant jurors and eager publishers. Read the rest of this entry »

News: New Zealand Law Commission releases report “The News Media meets ‘New Media'”

26 03 2013

image1The New Zealand Law Commission has today released its report ” “The News Media Meets New Media: Rights, Responsibilities and Regulation in the Digital Age.”   The report recommends the establishment of a “News Media Standards Authority” (NMSA) to provide a one-stop shop for adjudicating complaints against all news media.  Membership would be voluntary but would bring significant benefits. Read the rest of this entry »

Containing contempt: the Law Commission consultation – Alex Bailin QC

10 12 2012

ContemptThe Law Commission recently published a timely consultation paper on reform of contempt of court laws.  The current Attorney General has been extraordinarily active in bringing contempt cases – with more in the last few years than in the previous decade. His view is that contempt laws are still valid in the internet age but enforcement presents a real challenge, particularly given the power and prevalence of social media. The Law Commission’s starting point is “to ask how, in a modern, internet-connected society, the law of contempt can continue to support the principles that criminal cases should be tried only on the evidence heard in court.Read the rest of this entry »