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Contempt of Court

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 9th March 2015.

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Photo of John Hemming John Hemming Liberal Democrat, Birmingham, Yardley

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the letter sent on 2 February 2015 to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley by HM Courts and Tribunals Services's Performance, Analysis and Reporting Team, what the (a) name of the judge, (b) date, (c) period of committal and (d) court was of each court order issued by courts in England and Wales for contempt of court since 2014.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Details of contempt of court hearings are not held on Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) case management systems, and HMCTS do not centrally collate data on contempt of court cases. Contempt of court can cover a wide variety of circumstances and can be committed by a party in a case or by someone unconnected with specific proceedings such as a juror or a member of the press. Those relating to a specific case will be noted on the court log or daily list and the warrant retained on file. Those not relating to specific cases will be recorded on daily lists and warrants stored along with other orders.

In order to identify all cases where a contempt of court occurred in every Crown Court centre, County Court centre, Family Court centre, magistrates’ court and the Royal Courts of Justice, HMCTS would have to manually check daily records for each courtroom at every court centre for the 14 months from January 2014 to February 2015. This would incur disproportionate costs.

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