Contempt of Court
Contempt of court proceedings may be brought on a range of grounds which include breach of a court order endorsed with a penal notice or for the signing of a statement of truth whilst not believing its contents to be true.
Fraser Chambers has represented Respondents in some of the most high-profile cases involving contempt of court in the Court of Appeal. Given the particular procedural requirements for committal proceedings, Fraser Chambers can provide advice about the best approach to contesting contempt of court proceedings.
There is a specific area of the Civil Procedure Rules governing contempt of court applications (Part 81 and Practice Direction 81).
Contempt of court proceedings are always held in open court and are robed, as the liberty of the respondent is at stake. For the same reason, legal aid is also automatically available.
When making an application, evidence needs to be given in the form of an affidavit rather than a witness statement and needs to carry a specific warning to the respondent on the face of the order.
The application also needs to be personally served, unless the Court gives permission to dispense with personal service.
The burden of proof is higher than in normal civil proceedings: beyond reasonable doubt or “sure”, rather than merely probably or likely.
Sentences range up to two years in prison (which may be suspended) and/or a fine.
Following a finding of contempt, a prisoner can apply to purge their contempt.
Practicing Contempt of Court Barristers
Recent Contempt of Court Cases
Recent Contempt of Court News
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