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Contempt of Court
Contempt of court

Britain's legal system includes trial by juries drawn from the general public, or by lay magistrates. Such people are not as experienced as lawyers or judges, and are therefore regarded as potentially influenced by any bias in media coverage of cases before them.

British contempt of court laws include those drawn up to prevent prejudice to fair trials. They place considerable legal duty on the media to limit what is published about arrested suspects or defendants in criminal proceedings.

Proceedings in any eventual trial can usually be reported by the media contemporaneously but until any verdict it is legally dangerous for the media to publish additional information about a defendant's character, or speculation about the evidence.

If prejudicial matter is published by mistake or ...

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