Contempt of court is a vitally important part of the administration of justice. Being a summary jurisdiction, the law of contempt often needs to be applied swiftly and is not regularly the subject of appeal. There are many complexities and idiosyncrasies about the law of contempt, which have developed over centuries. This book is the first comprehensive treatment of the Australian law of contempt of court. It provides a rigorous but accessible exposition of the fundamental principles of this somewhat arcane area of law. This book is essential reading for all practitioners involved in litigation.
The book considers all forms of contempt, including civil contempt, sub judice contempt, contempt in the face of the court, scandalising the court and interference with the administration of justice as an ongoing process. It examines the difficult issue of the distinction between civil and criminal contempt. It considers not only contempt of superior courts of record but also examines the contempt powers of a range of inferior courts and tribunals. The book also analyses the procedure and penalties for contempt of court.
[T]his first Australian text dedicated to the law of contempt of court [is] long overdue and extremely welcome.
The result is a rich repository of legal knowledge, which will be readily digestible by lawyers and judges whose quotidian role is to apply the current law of contempt, and which will be usefully studied by scholars and potential reformers of the law who might strive for a deeper understanding of its origins and possible trajectory.
From the Foreword by The Hon Justice Gageler AC