Magistrates forced to give their names to press Court policy sale burberry outlet over keeping the names of magistrates out of the press has been overturned by the new boss of a weekly newspaper.
Barking and Dagenham Post editor Amanda Patterson wanted to change the convention of her paper not naming members of the bench at Barking Magistrates Court. But when the court was approached burberry outlet uk for identities of burberry outlet suits the magistrates, court officials refused to supply the information, citing fear of reprisals burberry home as the reason. She sought advice from Press Association media law specialist Mike Dodd, who confirmed the court had no right to withhold names. Officials met the editor to say they would reveal surnames of the JPs and eventually agreed to divulge their full names. She referred to the 1987 case of R v Felixstowe Justices, in which it was held that it was unlawful for a court to refuse to give the names of magistrates sitting in proceedings. Amanda told Media Lawyer: 15 years of journalism, I have never encountered such a reluctance by magistrates or solicitors to provide their full names to a reporter covering court. anything, the solicitors I have dealt with in the past have been the exact opposite, and eager to get their names into the local paper.
amazed me the most was the fact that the magistrates were adamant they had the right to remain anonymous, and my reporters were wrong to request such information. when I quoted the R v Felixstowe Justices case to the court and pointed out that the magistrates were public figures, I was told they were not being unlawful by just supplying a surname, even though we never dream of running a court story with just a defendant surname. Courts Service has now assured me my reporters will be given magistrates full names, should they ask for them, so hopefully that will be the case.
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