15 December 2011
Lord calls for reforms to contempt punishments
Media outlets found to be in contempt of court could face new punishment under reformed laws in the near future.
That is if one member of the House of Lords gets their way, as Liberal Democrat peer Lord Thomas has suggested newspapers guilty of this offence should be forced to suspend publication for a day as their penalty, the BBC reports.
Lord Thomas criticised present legislation in this area as too weak as it does not do enough to deter outlets, meaning "measures that will really bite" are needed sooner rather than later.
For instance, he cited the fact that the Daily Mirror and the Sun were only issued with financial penalties for contempt within their coverage of the Jo Yeates murder case earlier this year.
Justice minister Lord McNally - who used to be deputy speaker in the House of Lords - said that even though there are currently no plans to change the law, this proposal represents "an interesting idea".
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Posted by Trusha Vyas