Saturday 21 April 2018

A fine line between commenting on and prejudicing a trial

Stock photo
Stock photo

Eoin O'Dell

The full glare of a public hearing enables everyone to know that justice is being administered fairly. It allows the press and the public to report on, to scrutinise, and to comment upon, the workings of the law.

Every person facing a criminal charge is entitled to a fair trial, so commentary giving rise to a substantial risk of serious prejudice to an active trial can amount to contempt of court.

There can be a fine line between commenting on a trial, and prejudicing it. This line was certainly brought into focus at the conclusion of the Jobstown trial.

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