Contempt of Court: Open Justice?

The idea behind the 1981 Contempt of Court Act was pretty honourable. Everybody deserves a fair trial and to have their guilt decided by a jury rather than be convicted by the ‘Press’. Since then it has come under increasing pressure from the right to freedom of expression, first in the printed media and more […]

The Jury: Perverting the Course of Justice

Forget the legal inaccuracies, the irrelevant sub-plots and the intrusive commercial breaks. What really killed off ITV’s The Jury was a lack of confidence in courtroom drama. It looked promising enough. Written by the Oscar-nominated author of Frost/Nixon and The Queen, Peter Morgan, the drama was screened over five consecutive days and starred Julie Walters […]

Sam Hallam: A Miscarriage of Justice?

There’s a famous quote from the film Shawshank Redemption, when the main character Andy Dufresne tells another prison inmate: ‘Everybody in here’s innocent. Didn’t you know that?’ So when a young man convicted of murder steps forward and strongly protests his innocence, it’s often hard to keep an open mind. It’s still harder to accept […]