Guidelines

Section 18: The Law

Other reporting restrictions

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18.8.1

There are a number of other situations in which reporting restrictions either apply automatically, or can be specifically ordered by a court.

Automatic restrictions apply to:

  • reports of preliminary/committal proceedings in magistrates' courts in England. We can only report certain very basic details
  • reports of proceedings in Youth Courts (see below)
  • proceedings under the Children Act. We must not broadcast anything which is likely to identify any child as being involved in such proceedings.

These restrictions can be lifted or varied by a court.

Some of the more common reporting restrictions which may be ordered include:

  • Section 39 Orders, preventing the identification of under-18s involved in proceedings before an adult court
  • Postponement Orders, preventing publication of reports of proceedings until after the conclusion of related proceedings or until the court lifts or varies the restrictions
  • Anonymity Orders, where the court has allowed a person's details to be withheld, for example in blackmail cases.

Note that any queries involving legal proceedings in Scotland should be referred to the BBC Principal Solicitor, Scotland.

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