Author Topic: CONTEMPT OF COURT, SUMMARY OFFENCES, LIABILITY ORDERS & COUNCIL TAX  (Read 1894 times)

ceylon

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Stone’s Justice’s Manual, Section 1-382                                      (Magistrate’s Court Jurisdiction
n (a) to try any summary offence. (Council Tax is not a summary offence, e.g. Common Assault).
n (b) as examining justices over any offence committed by a person who appears or is brought before the court. (In the case of Council Tax, no offence has been committed; it's a liability hearing).
n (c) subject to SS 18-22 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980, to try summarily any offence which is try-able either way. (Council Tax is not a summary offence).
n ((d)) in the exercise of its powers under s 24 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 to try summarily an indictable offence. (Council Tax is a Civil Dispute, not an indictable offence e.g. GBH, dangerous driving, rape, etc).

Sir John Donaldson M.R.: "Mens rea in the law of contempt was something of a minefield. The reason was that it was wholly the creature of the common law and had developed on a case by case basis".

Until Att-Gen v. Newspaper Publishing plc and others [1988] Ch. 333, C.A. (Civ. Div.), there was widespread acceptance of the classification of contempts as being either civil or criminal. Civil contempt consisted of disobedience to an order of the court in circumstances where the disobedience is principally a matter that affects the parties to the case. Sir John Donaldson (again) later pointed out that the classification was not really relevant, since contempts have to be proved to criminal standards anyway

Lord Diplock in Att-Gen v. Times Newspapers Ltd. [1974], ante, outlines the various ways which the due administration of justice might be prejudiced: "The due administration of justice requires first that all citizens should have unhindered access to the constitutionally established courts of criminal or civil jurisdiction for the determination of disputes as their legal rights and liabilities; secondly, that they should be able to rely upon obtaining in the courts the arbitrament of a tribunal which is free from bias against any party and whose decision will be based upon those facts only that have been proved in evidence adduced before it in accordance with the procedure adopted in courts of law; and thirdly that, once the dispute has been submitted to a court of law, they should be able to rely upon there being no usurpation by any other person of the function of the court to decide according to law. Conduct which is calculated to prejudice any of these requirements or to undermine public confidence that they will be observed is contempt of court"

1. That justice is served by counting costs – the implication being that justice will not be served by counting costs and that counting costs is, therefore, a Contempt of Court.
2. That justice is served by using expedient means – the implication being that justice will not be served by using expedient means and that utilising expedient means is, therefore, a Contempt of Court.
3. That justice is served by denying Indefeasible Human Rights – the implication being that justice is not served by denying Indefeasible Human Rights and that any denial of Indefeasible Human Rights is, therefore, a Contempt of Court.
4. That justice is served by means of rules designed with any or all of the above in mind – the implication being that designing or implementing or following or observing such rules is not serving justice and is, therefore, a Contempt of Court.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 10:51:57 AM by Michael of Brigantia »