The Law Commission has recently recommended the introduction of an online database of “postponement” orders. What are its chances of success?
The legal framework around contempt of court puts the onus on court reporters to ascertain the terms of relevant reporting restriction orders in given criminal cases. They are expected to be familiar with the automatic restrictions, and to find out details of the discretionary postponement orders in place – orders which prevent publication of material until a set date, or the end of specified proceedings, under s 4(2) of the Contempt of Court Act 1981. However, the latter can present difficulties.