Reporting Restrictions in the Criminal Courts – fourth edition update

CriminalCrown CourtMagistrates' courtJudicial College

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It is a central principle of criminal justice that the court sits in public so that the proceedings can be
observed by members of the public and reported on by the media. Transparency improves the
quality of justice, enhances public understanding of the process, and bolsters public confidence in
the justice system. Media reporting is critical to all these public interest functions. There are
occasions, however when it is necessary to make an exception to these principles, to protect the
rights of children or the identities of some adult complainants for example. Such issues often arise
at short notice and the law relating to the decisions that have to be made can be complex.

The Fourth Edition of the Guide contains extensive revisions to the Third Edition. It aims to distil
and explain the relevant legal provisions and principles so they are clearly understood and
properly applied in practice. It is available on the judiciary’s website and on the websites of the
Society of Editors and the News Media Association the Media Lawyers Association.

I am grateful to Guy Vassall-Adams KC, Tim James-Matthews of Counsel and to the judicial and
academic editors for their contributions to this new edition of this important Guidance.

Hon The Lord Burnett of Maldon
Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales