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Net news 'threatens court cases'

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Lounge' started by gkd_uk, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. gkd_uk

    gkd_uk Moderator Moderator Webmaster

    Articles relating to high-profile court cases should be removed from online news archives, the former Lord Chancellor has told the BBC.

    Lord Falconer believes the action is necessary to avoid news stories written before a case influencing its outcome.

    Action would be necessary for around 20 cases a year, he said, in trials which attract a lot of pre-trial coverage.

    The Attorney-General would have to be responsible for identifying cases that could be affected, he said.

    "I think the state needs to be better at identifying those cases in which they think there's a contempt risk," he told BBC Radio 4's Law in Action programme.

    The rules would only apply to cases, such as the Soham murders, which generate intense media interest.

    News organisations would have to remove stories from their archives that were written before an arrest was made and a case became active.

    If they refused to comply "it would be very strong evidence they'd committed contempt", he said.

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