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May 22, 2012 / Sabine Kurjo McNeill

TAKING NOTES BANNED FROM COURT: Calling All Media Professionals Interested in Fair Trials


Calling All Media Professionals Interested in Fair Trials

Following a directive by his senior colleague, Sir Nicholas Wall, the President of the Family Division, Judge Patrick issued yesterday a ‘blanket ban’ on reporting, including the internet, on the Musa case[1] – a criminal trial scheduled to last 4 weeks in Wood Green Court.

People in the public gallery were not allowed to take notes either. However, professional journalists showed their credentials and seemed to get permission.

A lay legal advisor writes: “I see from the court listings on Court Serve[2] that a Contempt of Court order has been made under section 4 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981, which means that either all or part of the trial cannot be reported in the press or indeed elsewhere. To do so is a serious Contempt of court. This is usually made when it would be prejudicial to the fair trial, if matters were published which could prejudice the jury and these orders aren’t lightly made. – The order would seem to go against the principle of open justice[3] and may well infringe article 6(1) ECHR[4].”

Family Courts are known not to deliver fair trials, but Punishment without Crime[5] instead. Hence it seems necessary to follow the model set by Peter Hain MP’s barrister and ‘scandalise the court’ which resulted in “no longer any real risk to public confidence in the administration of justice” and thus setting the case aside[6].

According to the legal advisor, the mainstream media are known to appeal or to apply for a Judicial Review.

For supporters and web publishers[7] who are outraged, it means to be there and hear for themselves how far Haringey Council is willing to go to cover up wrong-doings, as already published by The Telegraph in December 2010, when quoting a whistleblower[8] in Does this family have human rights?[9]


For further information, please contact Sabine K McNeill on or 07968 039 141.

Please note the online petition Abolish the Ban on Recording Court Proceedings!

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