This term paper shall discuss extensively the offence of contempt of court. It is a legal term that must be understood by every journalist so that he/she will know how to be comported and behaved in the court especially during court proceedings.
Courts have a great leeway in making contempt charges, and thus confusion sometimes exists about the distinctions between types of contempt. The essence of contempt of court is that the misconduct impairs the fair and efficient administration of justice. Contempt statutes generally require that the actions present a clear and present danger that threatens the administration of justice.
The manner in which an act is committed or the tone in which words are spoken can determine whether contempt has occurred. Circumstances, such as the context in which the words were spoken, the tone, the facial expression, the manner and the emphasis, are also evaluated by the court. Failure to complete an act that, if completed, would tend to bring the court into disrespect does not preclude the act from being contemptuous.
DEFINITIONS OF CONTEMPT OF COURT
According to Longman Dictionary, the word contempt means “A feeling that something or someone is not important and deserves no respect”. It could also mean “disobedience or disrespect towards a court of law”.
However, Wikipedia defines contempt of court as “a court order which, in the context of a court trial or hearing, declares a person or organization to have disobeyed or been disrespectful of the court's authority.” It is the judge's strongest power to impose sanctions for acts which disrupt the court's normal process.
Contempt of court is behaviour that opposes or defies the authority, justice and dignity of the court. Contempt charges may be brought against parties to proceedings; lawyers or other court officers or personnel; jurors; witnesses or people who insert themselves in a case, such as protesters outside a courtroom.
CLASSIFICATIONS OF CONTEMPT OF...