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Reporting committal proceedings

1. As a general rule, you may not publish details of any committal proceedings other than certain specified matters 1. Reports of evidence received in committal proceedings can be published where the court decides not to commit or after the conclusion of the full trial 2.

2. The accused may apply to have the reporting restrictions lifted 3. The application may be made prior to the committal hearing 4. Where there are two or more accused, and one objects to an application to have restrictions lifted, the magistrate must refuse the application unless persuaded that it is in the interests of justice to lift restrictions 5. All defendants accused must be given the opportunity to address the court. Therefore, the decision to lift reporting restrictions cannot be made in the absence of a co-accused 6.

3. Regardless of the above, where it appears to be necessary for avoiding a substantial risk of prejudice to the administration of justice in those proceedings, or in any other proceedings pending or imminent, magistrates:


  1. MCA 1980, s8(4)
  2. MCA 1980, s.8(3)
  3. MCA 1980, s.8(2)
  4. See R v Bow Street Magistrates Court ex parte Kray [1969] 1QB 473; [1968] All ER 872
  5. MCA 1980, s.8(2A), as added by the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 1981, s.1
  6. See R v Wirral District Magistrates Court ex parte Meikle [1990] Crim LR 801
  7. CCA 1981 s4(2). See ex parte The Telegraph Group Plc and others [2001] EWCA 1075, [2001]1 WLR 1983 on the tests to be applied to determine whether it is "necessary" under section 4(2) of the 1981 Act to postpone reporting of a trial.
Updated 2009-07-07