HC Deb 22 May 1978 vol 950 cc1111-2
59. Mr. Christopher Price

asked the Attorney-General how many representations he has now received in response to the consultative document on the reform of the law on contempt.

The Solicitor-General (Mr. Peter Archer)

The Green Paper on contempt of court was published on 21st March and my noble Friend has received four representations to date; further time is bound to elapse before all comments on the Green Paper have been received.

Mr. Price

I thank my right hon. and learned Friend for that reply and I hope that I may get something out of him that I failed to get out of his senior. In view of the case that finished on Friday, in which it was found that there was a mere arrangement that had been frustrated and that there never had been any direction of the court, and as statements from the DPP, which used phrases such as flouting the direction of the court and contrary to the direction of the court were authorised, does my right hon. and learned Friend think that those statements were so prejudicial in the run-up to the case that they could well constitute contempt of court themselves? Will he urge the Attorney-General judicially to consider that matter and pronounce upon it?

The Solicitor-General

The Divisional Court found that the court had made its intentions quite clear. Beyond that, I ought to say that the proceedings to which my hon. Friend has referred are not yet resolved, so we have to be a little careful.