Scandalising in the Eighties

Law Quarterly Review, (1985) 101: 359-384

28 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2018

See all articles by Clive Walker

Clive Walker

University of Leeds - Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (CCJS)

Date Written: April 2, 2018


More than fifty years have passed since the last successful prosecution in England and Wales for scandalising the court. However, as amply demonstrated by the history of blasphemy, the relatively quiescent state of the offence should not be equated with obsolescence, and significant developments have taken place during the present decade both in other common law jurisdictions and as a result of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 in this country. Therefore, it may be timely to consider the nature of this archaic offence in the light of recent developments and then to assess whether it should form part of a modern legal system.

Keywords: Contempt of court; scandalising; media; human rights

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K33, K19, K30, K33, K42, N40

Suggested Citation

Walker, Clive, Scandalising in the Eighties (April 2, 2018). Law Quarterly Review, (1985) 101: 359-384, Available at SSRN: or

Clive Walker (Contact Author)

University of Leeds - Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (CCJS) ( email )

Leeds LS2 9JT
United Kingdom
44 (0) 113 3435022 (Phone)
44 (0) 113 3435056 (Fax)


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