Reflection on Court Orders

Court Orders

Section 29 Orders – Bans the press reporting the name, address, school or other information about a child under 18 (victim, defendant or witness)

Anonymity Orders – Victims of a sex offence – this order is automatically placed for life

Section 4 Orders – Made by court to postpone reporting – if there are two trials about the same people – the media will be banned from printing so as not to interfere with either of the cases

Section 11 Orders – Anonymity to defendants or victims in cases of blackmail and cases of national security. It bans name, address and any particulars being published. This has to be made straight away at the Magistrates Court.

Challenging Court Orders

All orders can be challenged by the media apart from victims of sex offences as the anonymity order is automatic

It bans people from reporting elements of cases but the press have the right to challenge

To challenge you must write a not to judge – give this to the clerk to pass on or ask the judge verbally

You must give notice to the prosecution and the defence of your intention to oppose an order. The court is supposed to give the media notice of intention to impose order

The court can vary or lift orders

Sometimes courts can make illegal orders so you must challenge it so you can report on it e.g. putting a section 39 order on an adult over 18

Even when the courts have incorrectly placed an order you must obey it until it has been varied or lifted

Section 11 Orders

These are used in blackmail and national security cases – it bans the name, address and any other particular – it gives anonymity to defendants and victims

If name or matter has already been mentioned in public proceedings, a section 11 order cannot be made after

Section 11 will be made when they are necessary in the interest of administration of justice

You can argue it is in the public interest to name the defendant and get the section 11 varied or lifted

Judicial College Guidance says that banning the publication of a defendants address may wrongly identify someone unconnected to the case

Courts try to use the order to protect the defendant’s children but this is not allowed

Section 4 Orders

They are to avoid substantial risk of prejudice to a later case

If there is a large gap between cases (4 months or over) it can be argued that you could report as people will most likely have forgotten the information by the next case. Also, it may result in more victims coming forward

Section 39 Orders

Once the defendant turns 18 years old this order expires

If it is a case at crown court they have to apply it – but it can be challenged

If the defendant is given an ASBO you can argue that you need to name them to make the ASBO effective

If it is in public interest e.g. Robbery or Murder you can argue to lift it

If it is a case about a teacher at a large school you could argue to get the order varied so that you could name the school as the individual child won’t be recognised from that

Babies and Toddlers – won’t be aware of the publicity so you might be able to get it lifted (usually if the child is under 5)

They cannot be used on children who are dead or not part of the proceedings

Challenging a Section 39 Order

It varies from judge to judge about if it is lifted or not

You could ask for it to be varied if lifting the order is not successful

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