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Are Contempt Laws Valid For Baby P And Jon Venables In The Internet Age? | Anorak

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Are Contempt Laws Valid For Baby P And Jon Venables In The Facebook Age?

ARE the UK’s contempt laws still valid in the era of Twitter, blogs and websites, when names of the accused are leaked? Leaked information on the innocent-until-proven-otherwise defendant can prejudice a court case and kill an investigation. If you were on a jury trial would you not look up the name of the accused online and do some research? Jurors are no longer housed in hotels and instructed not to read the press.

Rosenberg makes mention of Baby P, whose mother Tracey Connelly was outed in the website of the London Paper, a now defunct free newspaper. Jon Venables’ new identity is known to many.

Dominic Grieve QC, addressed the Kalisher lecture to the Criminal Bar Association on Tuesday. Joshua Rozenberg surmises:

The government’s senior legal adviser acknowledged the problems that can arise now that damaging information may circulate so freely. In the Baby P case, a judge had banned the identification of three people convicted of causing the death of Peter Connelly because two of them were subsequently due to stand trial for another offence.

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Posted: 19th, October 2010 | In: Reviews | Comments (7)