Reply to post: Re: Won't 'sub-judice' apply here?

Open justice FTW! El Reg fought the law – and El Reg won

gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

Re: Won't 'sub-judice' apply here?

Ta - we've got the pub booked and the beer tankers on standby!

To an extent yes. It all falls under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and the law of defamation. We're bound not to publish anything that creates a "substantial risk of serious prejudice" to legal proceedings - in other words, airing stuff that isn't heard inside the courtroom by a jury or introduced by either side's lawyers. Judges are mostly immune to prejudicial material, jurors much less so. You can actually write quite a bit from the papers in an ongoing case - I did it extensively during the Google Right To Be Forgotten trial (e.g. this witness statement)

Things like commentary on whether one side's guilty or not before the verdict are what generally gets people in trouble - some American columnist who thought he was being all cool and trendy about Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks during the phone-hacking trials got an entire issue of GQ magazine pulped a few years ago and the publisher was fined £10k. The commercial hit of losing an entire print run would have been far worse than the £10k fine.

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