So heading towards our final lessons in Law with Nicky, we have started to revise for our exam, which we sit on the 28th April. We need to revise everything we have learnt so far, in order to pass with 60% plus. We have been recapping what we have learnt so far and answering some mock exam questions.
This lesson we looked at copyrighting- what you can and cannot write.
Copyrighting ‘protects journalism articles, websites, books, films, TV, radio and sound recordings’.
Literary works are covered for the author’s lifetime plus 70 years, whilst sound lasts for 50 years. This is to protect the heirs.
This will be useful for in the future.
In this Law lesson we had a look at Challenging Court Orders.
I learnt that the press have the right to challenge court orders, and in order to do this you need to argue your case in court.
Some of these Court orders include:
Section 39 orders- which bans the press reporting the name, address, school or any other particulars of a child in court.
Anonymity orders- such as victims of sex offences, they have anonymity for life.
Section 4 orders- banning reporters from printing one trials when another involving the same people is imminent.
Section 11 orders- anonymity in cases of blackmail and cases of national security. This bans the name, address and any other particulars from being published for both victims and defendants.
Being in contempt of court is when the publication ‘creates substantial risk of serious prejudice to proceedings and proceedings are active’.
For example, publishing a defendants previous convictions would create prejudice’.
There are two types of contempt: common law contempt and strict liability contempt.
Common Law Contempt is publishing material that creates substantial risk of serious prejudice to proceedings which are imminent or pending with the intention of creating risk or interfering with the administration of justice.
Strict Liability Contempt is publishing material which creates risk. The court decides if a publication has created risk regardless of the writer’s motives.
As well as looking into contempt, we covered how to cover sex offences and jig-saw identification. Next week we get to go to court again which I am looking forward to.
For our third lesson we had a look at what you can and can’t report when covering a court case.
The only things you are allowed to report are:
1- The name of the court and magistrate
2- The name, address, age and occupation of the defendant
3- The offence they are being charged with
4- The name of the solicitors
5- The decision to commit for trial
6- The court the defendant is committed to and due to appear at next
7- The date of the next hearing
8- If they have been given bail
9- If legal aid was granted
10- The decision of the court to lift any restrictions.
If these are breached the publication can be fined and brought to court themselves.
Last Monday we went to Hull Crown Court to watch some cases. I’ve never been in the courts before so it was interesting to find out how things went!
After having our bags searched and going through security we watched four different cases. I found it quite hard to keep up with what was happening because I didn’t know what a lot of the things they were saying meant, but I managed to get a few notes down. These will help for writing up articles about what we saw.
Looking forward to going back after a few more lessons so I can understand what it going on.
There are seven defences a Journalist can use to defend themselves if accused of defamation.
1- Justification: if what they said was true.
2- Fair comment: if the writer is giving an honest view without malice. The facts must be correct in this case.
3- Absolute privilege: fair, accurate, contemporaneous court reports, or from House of Commons and Parliment. You must publish both sides of the story.
4- Qualified privilege: Fair accurate report made in public, such as press conferences and meetings. Made without malice on a matter of public interest.
5- Accord and satisfaction: If you agree to print a correction.
6- Offer of Amends: If you print an apology and pay damages. The statement must have been made without malice.
7- Reynolds defence: If the comment was made in the public interest, even if it cannot be proved, it was responsible to print.
The section one defence also exists- which protects the publication from comments made on the internet by users.
You cannot defame a dead person, you can only be sued for a year after the publication was made public, and you can’t sue if the person agreed for it to be printed.
We started back in semester two with our first law lesson. I found it easier than I thought it would be, and I’m excited to go to the courts.
For our first lesson we learnt about Defamation.
Defamation is ‘an untrue statement that causes damage to someone else’.
It tends to cause people to be either shunned or or avoided, have low self- esteem in the eyes of others and disparage them.
They don’t need to prove that it is defamitory, it only needs to ‘tend to’. For example, saying a company is in financial difficulties when they aren’t can cause people to avoid the company, causing damage.
I am looking forward to next lesson as this is a subject I am interested in and would like to learn more of.