Thursday, 18 August 2011

CPS: Lifting youth court reporting restrictions

The Crown Prosecution Service has issued guidance to its prosecutors on lifting reporting restrictions in cases involving youths who are convicted, including cases involving serious public disorder such as the UK riots, the Newspaper Society reports.

The NS says that in the Youth Court, the automatic ban on identification under section 49 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 can be lifted on public interest grounds after conviction. The CPS guidance states that “The following cases are examples of circumstances where it will be appropriate for the prosecutor to make representations that there is a strong public interest in favour of lifting restrictions

  • significant public disorder where the public will rightly need to be satisfied that offenders have been brought to justice and there is a need to deter others;
  • serious offences which have undermined the public's confidence in the safety of their communities;
  • hate crimes which can have a corrosive impact on the confidence of communities.”

The Newspaper Society adds: "CPS guidance also makes clear that the prosecutor must respond to any application to impose discretionary reporting restrictions under section 39 CYPA 1933 in respect of children and young persons involved in proceedings in Magistrates Court and Crown Court and, if imposed, the prosecutor should ask the court to review any order after conviction and ask for the restrictions to be lifted on public interest grounds, including in respect of “significant public disorder, serious offences which undermine the public's confidence in the safety of their communities; and hate crimes.”

The guidance is available on the CPS website.

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