Sunday, 13 December 2009

Media Law (2) - notes

There are three basic legal principles:
  1. Presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt.
  2. Justice seen to be done - accusation of law breaking must stand up in court.
  3. Evidence based - so the right to have evidence tested in front of a jury.

In England there are six Crown Courts, with two presiding judges; their key functions are to try indictable crimes which are sent from the Magistrates court, cases sent for sentences which cannot be administered in a lower court and to hear appeals.

  • Magistrates Court - deals with family matters/disputes such as divorce, child benefit.
  • Most court cases are protected by the human rights act which allows us and anybody else the freedom to sit in; the exceptions are adoption cases, family matters and official secrets.


  • Anything that will cause a prejudice opinion in court is considered contempt.
  • reporting opinions expressed by jurors.
  • anything that interferes with course of justice.
  • any breach of a court order.

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