Media Law

Topics: Crime, Data Protection Act 1998, Police Pages: 10 (3287 words) Published: April 25, 2013
A regional television news broadcaster has engaged your services to provide legal advice in respect of their news bulletins. You have been asked to provide legal advice in respect of the following piece from their court reporter for the evening bulletin which has just been received in the newsroom: “Simon ‘Slasher’ Stevens, as he is known to friends and associates, has been appearing on indictment today at Thistletoun Sheriff Court for a serious assault with an offensive weapon and extortion. The assault relates to an incident that took place in Thistletoun Shopping Centre last September during which Senga McGlumpher, who gave evidence earlier in the trial, was knocked to the ground and threatened. Stevens denies involvement and claims that he was at a pawnbroker in Glasgow with one of his associates, Oliver Harvey, at the time of the incident. Harvey, giving evidence on this the third day of the trial, confirmed Stevens’s version of events. However, like Stevens, Harvey has a number of convictions for violent crime. Indeed, it was apparent from Harvey’s evidence that he was not telling the truth. After viewing some CCTV footage from a local shop, I can confirm Stevens was in the vicinity at the time of the incident. Therefore, it should not take the prosecution too long to establish Stevens’s involvement. Having spoken to one of the jurors, it is clear that they have already formed the view that Stevens is guilty. The trial is set to resume next Monday.”

You subsequently discover that the sheriff has ordered that the name of the victim is not to be disclosed. In addition to this, the broadcaster has asked your advice on broadcasting a piece about public concern over a spate of assaults and robberies in the Thistletoun area during which they would like to mention the above case and show the CCTV footage mentioned. Your answer should identify the implications of broadcasting the above piece and the subsequent piece in terms of the law of contempt of court. Your answer should be approximately 2,500 words in length.

Broadcasting of an article in newspaper it has to be in terms of law of contempt of court. The assault case between accused Simon ‘Slasher’ Stevens and Senga mcGlumpher which took place in Thistletoun Shopping centre . Following laws should be considered while publishing an article in terms of contempt of court and police guidelines. Contempt of Court

Contempt of court is described as the improper interference with the administration of justice. Courts are free to decide on the matters placed before it without any outside influence. The Contempt of Court Act 1981

The Contempt of Court Act 1981 was brought in with the intention of promoting freedom of speech and as a result of a Human Rights decision by the European Court of Human Rights in which it was decided that the previous common law notion of contempt of court in fact breached Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Section 2(2) of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 states that where any publication creates a substantial risk that the course of justice in the proceedings in question will be seriously impeded or prejudiced contempt of court will be found. Data Protection Act:-

According to sheriff as he has ordered that the name of victim should not be disclosed following Data protection Law has to be considered.

The data protection act 1998 aims to regulate the processing of personal information, set preconditions for data to be processed, and to increase the individuals right to control how information about him or her is used. According to data protection act required data is to be registered with the data protection registrar, to handle data accordance with certain principles and to give individual access information about them. (Liyod V Jagpal, 2009). Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and shall not be processed unless, atleast one of the condition is met in Schedule 2 and in case of sensitive data one...

References: Richardson v Wilson (1879).
Att Gen v English (1982).
Naomi Campbell v Mirror Group Newspaper Ltd (2002).
Liyod V Jagpal (2009).
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