Skip to main content

Secret Imprisonments and the RCJ press office

What we know (and was reported by PA) is that at a hearing which started at 9.30am in Court 35 in the RCJ Theis J committed a woman to jail.
On 2nd August Sir James Munby the President of the Family Division sent out a circular which clarified the practice directions of May and June. The circular is Here in a PDF form, but this is what it said.
From: President of FD 
Sent: 02 August 2013 11:02 
To: ZZ RCJ Family High Court Judges; ZZ DFJs; ZZHMCTS Justices Clerks; Arbuthnot, 
District Judge 
Subject: PRESIDENT'S CIRCULAR - COMMITTALS 

Dear All, 

You will recall the Guidance on Committals issued by the LCJ and me on 3 May 2013 and the 
supplemental Guidance I issued on 4 June 2013. In relation to the latter may I remind you of 
paragraph 5. 

A question has arisen as to whether paragraph 6 of the original Guidance applies in all 
committal cases or only in cases to which paragraphs 4 and 5 apply. 

Paragraph 6 applies in EVERY case in which a committal order or a suspended committal 
order is made, WITHOUT EXCEPTION. 

Paragraph 6 thus applies whether the committal application has been heard in public or in 
private and whether or not the contemnor has admitted the contempt(s). 

Paragraph 6(a) makes clear that the judgments to which paragraph 6 apply "include" any 
judgment given in accordance with paragraph 5 and any statement given in accordance with 
paragraphs 4 and 5. But it is not limited to such judgments or statements. The word "includes" 
has its ordinary meaning of "includes, but is not limited to". 

The principle is very clear and MUST be rigorously followed. NO-ONE is EVER to be 
committed for contempt of court by a family court or the Court of Protection (whether the 
sentence is suspended or takes immediate effect) without (a) the name of the contemnor (b) 
proper details of the contempt(s) and (c) the reasons for the committal being made publicly 
available in a judgment published on the BAILII website. 

In a case where the contemnor has admitted the contempt(s), the judgment required by 
paragraph 6 may take the same kind of form as sentencing remarks in the Crown Court, so 
long as (and this is VITAL) what is said in court and then put up on BAILII sets out the name 
of the contemnor, proper details of the contempt(s) and the reasons for the committal. 

We shall be subject to strong and entirely justifiable criticism if it emerges that anyone has 
been committed since 3 May 2013 without the name of the contemnor, proper details of the 
contempt(s) and the reasons for the committal appearing on BAILII. I very much hope that 
there are no such cases. If there are, it is ESSENTIAL that steps are IMMEDIATELY taken to 
ensure that the judgment is put up on BAILII. 

In the unlikely event of there being any difficulties with BAILII the matter is to be reported to 
me IMMEDIATELY. 

James Munby P 

The circular was issued following a comment from me to his office where a judgment had not been issued. I think the circular is very clear. However, the press office of the RCJ don't think it is clear and are saying that it is OK that someone has been imprisoned and we don't know who.

The government have a responsibility to count imprisonments so we can check they are not happening in secret. They have, however, refused.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Millionaires and politics

The Labour Party spent most of the last election criticising me for being a successful businessman (aka millionaire). That is business in the private sector employing over 250 people. It is worth looking at the situation for the Labour Candidate now:

For the year 2016-7 Annual Income from Parliament74,962Specifically for her book51,250Other media income etc5,322.82Total declared income131,534.82

Traditionally anyone with an annual income of over £100,000 has been considered to be a millionaire. I did not use my position in parliament to increase my income.


I have been asked for sources for this. This BBC piece looks at how one should define rich. It was written in 2011 so the figures will be slightly out of date. There are perhaps 2 relevant pieces:
"In 1880 a rich person would have had £100,000 in assets or an income of £10,000 a year, he says. About a hundred people a year died leaving £100,000 and by 1910 this was 250 - "a microscopic fraction of the number of death…

Gender Issues comparison of candidates

John Hemming believes that an MP should represent everyone in their constituency.  This should be regardless of their race, religion, gender, abledness, sexual orientation or anything else.  It should be everyone.

When he was an MP he worked on issues relating to men, those relating to women and those relating to non-binary people. Everyone.

For example here is John Hemming on a demonstration outside the courts with the campaign group Women Against Rape (it related to the case of a mother who had her child removed from her because the mother was raped).




Jess Phillips, who campaigns on women's issues, notwithstanding the questions asked about her appointments in her parliamentary office, had the following response when asked for a debate on issues specifically relating to men:

The Labour Candidate's Book Promotion Tour and Why It Matters

In the 2015 General Election the Labour Candidate criticised John Hemming for having an external interest and made a pledge that she would be a "Full Time MP for Yardley and my only other job will be mom & carer ...".  Here is a copy of that pledge:


Since that point she has been working on paid Television Programmes and has also written a book. John Hemming has made no secret of the fact that he chairs the board of the company he founded in 1983. This involves one meeting a month. When he was the MP for Yardley he was a full time MP and the Job of being MP for Yardley came first. The Labour candidate has reported 1,274 hours of work other than being an MP in the two years she has been elected and her income in the last year was over £131,000.

Ignoring the question as to how she reconciles that with her "pledge" the question is raised as to what extent her external activity conflicts with the role of Member of Parliament for Yardley. She is supposed to de…