A defendant who had been restrained by an injunction from publishing certain videos on his YouTube channel and had been found to be in contempt of court for continuing to publish them and was given a suspended prison sentence, was in contempt of court by publishing further similar videos and was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment.
ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
There was sufficient concern about Polish judicial independence that persons requested by Poland under European arrest warrants should have the opportunity to advance reasons why they might have an exceptional case requiring an individual assessment to see whether there were substantial grounds for believing that they individually ran a real risk of a breach of their rights to a fair trial, under the test set out in Minister for Justice and Equality v LM (C-216/18 PPU) EU:C:2018:586. Those sought for ordinary criminal offences, with no political or sensitive content, seemed unlikely to be able to establish that risk.
The Protocol and Good Practice Model: Disclosure of Information in Cases of Alleged Child Abuse and Linked Criminal and Care Directions Hearings was not working as it should and might need to be updated and improved.
In dismissing an appeal by way of case stated against an assault conviction, the court questioned the use of a form by magistrates which used a numerical scale to indicate an assessment of witness evidence. The court considered the form to be at best unhelpful and at worst capable of giving rise to misunderstanding and urged the magistrates’ clerk to urgently consider whether it should be amended or used at all.
A prisoner was given permission to seek a declaration that the period of appointment and tenure provisions for Parole Board members failed the test of objective independence. It was not acceptable for the Secretary of State for Justice to pressurise the Board’s chair to resign because he was dissatisfied with the chair’s conduct; that breached the principle of judicial independence.