JurisdictionNorthern Ireland
CourtCourt of Appeal (Northern Ireland)
JudgeStephens LJ
Neutral Citation[2019] NICA 33
Date07 June 2019
Neutral Citation No: [2019] NICA 33
Judgment: approved by the Court for handing down
(subject to editorial corrections)*
Ref: STE10935
Delivered: 07/06/2019
Before: Stephens LJ, Deeny LJ and Treacy LJ
STEPHENS LJ (delivering the judgment of the court)
[1] This is an application for leave to appeal which purports to have been
brought pursuant to section 159(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (“the 1988 Act”)
by various media organisations (“the applicants”) in relation to reporting restriction
orders imposed by Colton J (“the judge”) under section 4(2) of the Contempt of
Court Act 1981 and also under Article 3 ECHR and section 6 of the Human Rights
Act 1998 (“HRA”). The accused was charged on an indictment with two serious
offences but on 19 December 2018 pursuant to Article 49 of the Mental Health
(Northern Ireland) Order 1986 (“the 1986 Order”) the judge held that the accused
was unfit to be tried. This left proceedings under Article 49A of 1986 Order as to
whether the accused did the act charged against him as the offence (“the fact finding
trial”). The effect of the reporting restriction orders is that reporting of the fact
finding trial is postponed until the conclusion of those proceedings at first instance.
The media organisations wish to report the fact finding trial contemporaneously
rather than when it has concluded.
[2] The media organisations are the BBC Northern Ireland, UTV, Irish News,
Mirror Group Newspapers, Belfast Telegraph, the Irish Times and The Detail.
[3] Under section 4(2) of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and at the
commencement of the hearing of the application for leave to appeal we imposed a
reporting restriction order that there should be no report of these appellate
proceedings until the conclusion of the fact finding trial or further order of this court

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