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    Tuesday, 13 October 2009

    Opening Justice: new guidance on reporting restrictions

    The Judicial Studies Board has published new guidelines on the imposition of reporting restrictions by the criminal courts. The guidelines are an attempt to reconcile the principle of open justice with the imperative of securing the fair administration of justice. They were written in large part by barrister Guy Vassall-Adams of Doughty Street Chambers in collaboration with the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, and representatives of the Society of Editors, the Newspaper Society, Times Newspapers Ltd, Trinity Mirror plc, the Press Association and Reuters.

    The new guidelines are very welcome. Media companies had been increasingly concerned that judges were often imposing unwarranted restrictions on their freedom to report court proceedings in ignorance of the limits of the powers available to them. It will be interesting to see how far the new guidelines stem the flow of legal challenges to restrictions imposed.

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