New Guidelines Issued for Reporting Restrictions in the Criminal Courts bit.ly/SNl5Oh
The PBROTRIB has sent a copy of the tweet above to Gillian Beasley, as we noticed her PCC corporate department has recently allegedly unlawfully expanded the spam filter to ensure our emailed posts, and those from many citizens of Peterborough, are physically kept away from elected councillors council publicly funded email boxes, and that the iphone app is apparently difficult to use on the council supplied smartphone, although thousands of others have now easily bookmarked the program.
We had helpfully pulled together a comprehensive briefing documents for the full council meeting only to find it was being bounced back by Ms Gillian Beasleys Corp. Department. We will in future be sending a copy of selected email posts directly to Gillian Beasley, Chief Executive PCC with a formal request that she as an officer of the council places the information before all councillors in hard copy form. We on your behalf have a right to be heard, just as you do. Individual councillors have agreed to keep us informed if they are not getting our briefings, and blog post e-mails.
Public authorities under the Human Rights Act, including Courts and Local Authorities must act compatibly with Convention rights, including the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 ECHR and the right to a public hearing under Article 6 ECHR. This is a point often misunderstood by some councillors who think they have a right to limit freedom of expression or put pressure on public officials when they are not getting their own way. This is what part of the New Guidelines Issued for Reporting Restrictions in the Criminal Courts actually says:
The general rule is that the administration of justice must be done in public, the public and the media have a right to attend all court hearings and the media is able to report those proceedings fully and contemporaneously.
The public has the right to know what takes place in the criminal courts and the media in court acts as the eyes and ears of the public, enabling it to follow court proceedings and to be better informed about criminal justice issues.
The open justice principle is central to the rule of law. Open justice helps to ensure that trials are properly conducted. It puts pressure on witnesses to tell the truth.
It can result in new witnesses coming forward. It provides public scrutiny of the trial process, maintains the public’s confidence in the administration of justice and makes inaccurate and uninformed comment about proceedings less likely.
Open court proceedings and the publicity given to criminal trials are vital to the deterrent purpose behind criminal justice. Any departure from the open justice principle must be necessary in order to be justified.
Parliament has recognised the importance of contemporaneous media reports of legal proceedings by giving protection from liability for contempt of court and defamation to fair, accurate and contemporaneous reports of court proceedings.
The important role of the media as a public watchdog is also recognised under the right to freedom of expression guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
As public authorities under the Human Rights Act, courts must act compatibly with Convention rights, including the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 ECHR and the right to a public hearing under Article 6 ECHR.
While Article 10 and Article 6 are both qualified rights and permit of exceptions, any restriction on the public’s right to attend court proceedings and the media’s ability to report them must fulfil a legitimate aim under these provisions and be necessary, proportionate and convincingly established.
It is for the party seeking to derogate from the principle of open justice to produce clear and cogent evidence in support of the derogation.
Kindly Note: An Updated version of this blogpost, will ALWAYS be found on the website E&OE google.com/+JulianBray All Enquiries 01733 345581 >>>> Police 101. Emergency 999. Crimestoppers 0800 555 111. <<<< CLICK ON RSS PANEL BELOW TO SEE ALL LATEST POST UPDATES & LATER BREAKING NEWS ADDITIONS . .