This Law Commission report looks at the accurate contemporary reporting of the content of legal proceedings taking place in public in criminal courts. More specifically, this report focuses on the power of the Crown Court to order that such reporting be postponed to avoid prejudice to court proceedings. The Contempt of Court Act 1981 provides that publication of material which has the effect of risking serious prejudice to active court proceedings can in some circumstances be punished as a contempt of court. The Commission is concerned with all court reporting, whether broadcast (on television, radio or over the internet) or published (electronically or in print format) and whether by accredited press representatives or others such as bloggers. The recommendations would: ensure that court reporting postponement orders are all posted on a single publicly accessible website (a similar website currently operates in Scotland); include a further restricted service where, for a charge, registered users could find out the detail of the reporting restriction and could sign up for automated email alerts of new orders; greatly reduce their risk of contempt for publishers, from large media organisations to individual bloggers, and enable them to comply with the court's restrictions or report proceedings to the public with confidence.
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