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Freedom of Speech$
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Eric Barendt

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199225811

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199225811.001.0001

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Free Speech and the Judicial Process

Free Speech and the Judicial Process

(p.312) IX Free Speech and the Judicial Process
Freedom of Speech


Oxford University Press

Powerful private institutions, such as the press and other media, should respect fundamental constitutional rights such as the right to a fair trial, a perspective which may require the courts to balance that right against freedom of speech and of the press. On that approach, it makes sense to refer to a conflict between two fundamental rights, the weight of which must be assessed in the context of the particular facts. This chapter discusses two types of contempt of court that clearly raise major free expression issues: attacks on the judiciary and publications that are thought likely to prejudice the fairness of future legal proceedings, particularly criminal trials. The open justice principle, under which the press and public are free to attend and report court proceedings, is also considered. Among other issues, it raises the question of whether freedom of speech entails rights of access to attend, and to film and broadcast, legal proceedings.

Keywords:   judicial process, free speech, attacks on the judiciary, open justice, legal proceedings, legal restrictions, court reporting, fair trial, contempt of court

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