Contempt of Court

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 25th 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 Service'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 Sheffield for contempt of court since November 2014.

Photo of Shailesh Vara Shailesh Vara The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Details of contempt of court hearings are not always 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 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 public. Those relating to a specific case will be noted on the court log or daily list and any warrant retained on file. Those not relating to a specific case will be recorded on daily lists and any warrants stored along with other orders. Local practices vary as to how contempts of court are recorded and stored.

HMCTS have checked records of cases heard since November 2014 in relation to Sheffield County Court, High Court sitting at Sheffield and Sheffield Family Court. For those courts, HMCTS have identified no cases where a committal order was made for imprisonment for contempt of court.

It has not been possible to provide information in relation to Sheffield Crown Court or Sheffield Magistrates’ Court. Data are not recorded in a way that enables HMCTS to identify all such cases without checking every case file and every daily list since 1 November which would involve disproportionate costs.

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