UK Law & the Media

Nick Drewe
Flashcards by Nick Drewe, updated more than 1 year ago
Nick Drewe
Created by Nick Drewe over 4 years ago


A complete cover of the NCTJ law exam for journalists.

Resource summary

Question Answer
What are the three traditional main sources of UK law? Custom Precedent Statute
What is custom / common law? Custom law is the whole body of established law.
What is precedent / case law? Binding rulings on specific issues that are referred to in similar, future cases.
What are statutes and what do they do? Acts of Parliament that can modify or replace Common Law.
What external factor imposes treaties and laws on the UK? European Court of Justice
What is the full name for the EU's human rights act? The European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
What act makes it unlawful for UK Public Authorities to act in any way incompatible with convention rights and when did it come into force? The Human Rights Act 1998 Came into force in 2000
What is the hierarchy of courts in the UK both criminal and civil? 2a72cc54-1225-4408-8795-69c02163c0e5.png (image/png)
What is considered as criminal law? Offences against the whole community, offences against the community.
What does R stand for criminal cases? Regina or Rex (latin, refers to the crown)
What is considered as civil law? Disputes between individuals and organisations. Addresses wrongs suffered, including divorce.
What are the differences between criminal and civil case proceedings? Criminal defendants are charged and prosecuted by the crown, in civil people are sued. Criminal defendants plead (not) guilty, is convicted, acquitted, fined or jailed. Civil defendants admit or deny liability and is found either liable or not. If so they pay damages.
What's the difference between a barrister and a solicitor? A solicitor prepares legal documents and is the first call of advice for the client. A barrister prepares a case for court using information given by solicitors.
What is defamation? Any statement that is not based on fact and disparages them in the eyes of right-minded citizens. Libel is written defamation.
What is contempt of court? Prejudicing a live court case (from the point of being active). It ends when the jury reach their verdict. 'Significant risk of causing substantial prejudice'.
What is the main law regarding reporting on Sexual Offences? Once a complaint of serious sexual assault has been made it is illegal for a paper to identify the alleged victim.
What anonymity do youth offenders require? Automatic anonymity on the identification of under 18s who appear in Youth Courts. There is no ban on youths in adult courts, but judges normally impose an ID restriction none the less.
What can a journalist cover in Family Courts? Next to nothing. You can't identify subjects of a care order (child protection).
What laws surround reports from court, Parliament, councils and other official bodies? Privilege. As long as the reporting of the material is fair and accurate you can't sue. Sometimes corrections can't be demanded either even if the facts are wrong.
What is absolute privilege? Protected from being sued by defamation. Report of public judicial proceedings, published contemporaneously and written in a fair and accurate way. If these rules aren't followed, privilege is revoked.
What is qualified privilege? Used to reveal facts of information for public interest (can be used as the defence). Report publicly available information, published fairly, accurately and without malice.
What is privilege? To be above the law It gives journalists the right to defame people as citizens.
What group of citizens in the UK have full automatic anonymity when accused of a criminal offence? Teachers, unless / until found guilty, or if the court agrees to lift anonymity for interest of justice.
What is the new press watchdog? IPSO (Independent Press Standards Organisation)
How many people, between what ages, are in the jury? 12 people between 18 and 70.
What is article 10 of the Human Rights Convention? The right to freedom of expression.
What is article 8 of the Human Rights Convention? Right to privacy in the private sphere.
What is Actus Reus? An act that is potentially criminal.
What is Mens Rea? A guilty mind (intent).
What is strict liability? Prosecution is not required to show intent (Mens Rea) on the part of the accused.
What is Common Law contempt? Publishing material which creates a Serious Risk of Significant Prejudice to proceedings that are imminent, with the intention of creating said risk. That any behaviour that interferes with the administration of justice. Prosecutions are rare as intent must be proven.
What is Strict Liability contempt? Publishing material which creates a Serious Risk of Significant Prejudice to active proceedings. Motives of the writer are irrelevant as it is strict liability.
When are court proceedings active? - A person is arrested. - An arrest warrant is issued. - A summons is issued. - A person is orally charged.
When do court proceedings cease to be active? - The arrested individual is released without charge (excluding bail). - No arrest has been made within 12 months of the issue of arrest warrant. - Case is discontinued. - Defendant is acquitted or sentenced.
What section of what act outlines what a reporter can say about an ongoing case? Section 52a of the Crime & Disorder act 1998.
What information can the press disclose about somebody on trial? -Name of court -Name, age, address, occupation -Full or summarised charges -date and place of adjourned proceedings -arrangements surrounding bail
What court-stated information can a reporter publish DURING the process of the court proceedings? Contemporaneous, full reports of what the jury is told during the trial, as long as it follows reporting restrictions and anonymity laws. (if they've already heard it, you can't change their opinion on it).
How long does copyright last on sound recording, computer generated graphics and broadcast? 50 years after the year in which it was made / produced.
How long does copyright last on literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work? 70 years from the end of the year in which the creator died.
What are the three elements in a breach of confidence? -Information must have 'the necessary quality of confidence'. -Info must be imparted in circumstances imposing obligation of confidence. -Must be an unauthorised use of said information to the detriment of the party communicating it.
Under section 37 of the Children and Young persons Act 1933, who can be expelled from court when a witness under 18 is giving evidence in a case regarding indecency? The public, but not journalists.
What is an indictable offence? A criminal offence that requires a hearing in a more severe level of court such as Crown Court.
What is a summary offence? A criminal offence that is covered by the magistrates and doesn't require more severe courts.
What is an either way offence? A criminal offence that is sometimes covered through the Magistrates Court but is equally as likely to be passed up to higher courts.
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