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NCJ Number: 63876 Find in a Library
Title: CONTEMPT OF COURT AND THE LEGAL PROFESSION
Journal: CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW  Dated:(AUGUST 1978)  Pages:463-473
Author(s): P BUTT
Corporate Author: Sweet and Maxwell
Marketing Director
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Sweet and Maxwell
London, NW3 3PF, England
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: CONTEMPT OF COURT BY LAWYERS UNDER BRITISH LAW IS EXAMINED. CASES INVOLVING CONTEMPT CITATIONS ARE CONSIDERED, AND THREE RECENT CASES ARE DISCUSSED REGARDING CONTEMPT CRITERIA. REFORMS ARE SUGGESTED.
Abstract: THE LARGE NUMBER OF REPORTED DECISIONS INVOLVING CONTEMPT CHARGES AGAINST BARRISTERS AND SOLICITORS MAY BE CLASSIFIED INTO TWO CATEGORIES: THE FIRST INVOLVES AN ABUSE OF THE PLEADING PROCESS OF THE COURT, AND THE SECOND INCLUDES IMPROPRIETY IN THE CONDUCT OF THE ACTUAL HEARING BEFORE THE JUDGE. A NUMBER OF CASES FROM THE 17TH AND 18TH CENTURIES ARE INCLUDED IN THE FIRST GROUP, WHERE COUNSEL HAVE BEEN PUNISHED FOR CONTEMPT OR CENSURED FOR SIGNING PROLIX, FRIVOLOUS, OR SCANDALOUS PLEADINGS. CASES IN THE SECOND CATEGORY CONCERN INSTANCES WHERE LAWYERS IMPUTE LACK OF INTEGRITY OR IMPARTIALITY TO THE JUDGES THEMSELVES OR WHERE REMARKS ARE DIRECTED AT OTHERS PLAYING A PART IN THE PROCEEDINGS. IT HAS BEEN HELD TO BE A CASE OF CONTEMPT FOR A BARRISTER TO ACCUSE A JUDGE OF OPPRESSION, TO WILLFULLY INSULT THE TRIAL JUDGE, OR TO IMPUGN WITHOUT REASONABLE GROUNDS THE COMPETENCE OR IMPARTIALITY OF THE JUDGE. TRADING INSULTS WITH OPPOSING COUNSEL IS NOT GENERALLY CONSIDERED CONTEMPT, BUT IMPUTING BIAS TO THE JURY FOREMAN IS. THREE RECENT CASES UNDER BRITISH LAW ARE CITED THAT CONCERN VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THE CONTEMPT ISSUE. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE OFFENSE OF 'SCANDALIZING THE COURT' BE REMOVED FROM THE GENERAL LAW OF CONTEMPT AND BE REPLACED BY A STRICTLY DEFINED CRIMINAL OFFENSE. SUMMARY POWER TO COMMIT FOR CONTEMPT SHOULD BE RETAINED UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (LWM)
Index Term(s): Attorneys; Contempt of court; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Misconduct; Professional conduct and ethics
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63876

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