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 

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 

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.


Popular posts from this blog

Statement re False Allegations Campaign

Many people will know that my family and I have been subject to a campaign of false allegations by Esther Baker for the past 4 1/2 years. Yesterday there was a court judgment Baker v Hemming [2019] EWHC 2950 (QB) which formally confirmed that the allegations were false. Esther Baker, who had brought a libel claim against me, dropped her defence of Truth to my counter-claim and was taken by the judge as no longer trying to prove her allegations. Due to Baker's various breaches of court rules and orders, she has been barred from further repeating her allegations even in the court proceedings. Further claim of mine in libel against Baker are ongoing. There is a good summary in the Daily Mail here.

This demonstrates the challenge in fighting false allegations in today's Britain. A substantial campaign was built up to promote allegations which had no substance to them. Various Labour MPs and in pa…

Service launched to reduce the pain of calling a call centre.

Click here to try the beta test call entre phoning service"John Hemming, who has created an internet Startup called Cirrostratus since he ceased being an MP, is launching a free online service to make life easier for people phoning call centres.   The service is provided by Cirrostratus, but the SIP backbone is provided by the multi-award winning business VoIP solution, Soho66." John said, "Many people find phoning call centres a real pain.  Our service is aiming to make things a lot easier.   One click on alink or the bookmarks list and our server will phone up the call centre and get through all the menus.  This is a lot faster than when people have to phone up and is less irritating." "Additionally the system uses WebRtc and the internet to make the call. This means that people don't find their normal phone system being blocked whilst they hang on the line waiting to speak to a human being." Marketing Manager from Soho66, David McManus, said: &q…

A grassroots uprising against terrorism

Original Date 26th May 2017

One thing I used to do when I was the Member of Parliament for Yardley was to call together meetings of all of the religious organisations in Yardley as a Yardley multi-faith group.  In many ways it is the creation of informal links between people that makes communication easier even if there is no formal decision making power.

Obviously this is something I would intend to do again if the people of Yardley ask me to take on the responsibility of representing them in parliament.

It highlights the sort of thing that politicians can do which arises from a leadership role within communities rather than any constitutional position.

I have already written in an earlier blog post about the principles of resolving conflict.  It can be summarised as "murdering innocents is wrong".

A number of local mosques have issued statements following the atrocity in Manchester and I think it is worth quoting from parts of them.

One said that the mosque "Unequivoc…