The Concept of Fair Trial

1497 Words 6 Pages
“The right of a criminal defendant to a fair trial is absolute... The right to a fair trial is one to be enjoyed by the guilty as well as the innocent, for a defendant is presumed to be innocent until proved to be otherwise in a fairly conducted trial,” (Randall v. R. (Cayman Islands), 2002). The concept of fair trial is self-explanatory; it simply means an impartial trial that is executed to grant each party involved in a case their fundamental right which guarantees them a right to due. The scenario provided gives rise to issues of contempt of court, the sub judice rule and the code of ethics for media professionals. This essay will expound on the aforementioned issues, discuss whether or not the comments made by Speek Owt are licit and …show more content…
Therefore, Speech owl is in contempt of anticipating the course of the trial and predicting the outcome by the comments made by him on Scandal FM. According to the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) code of ethics (2005), Section 1, subsection (a) it states that newspapers, periodicals, radio and television stations shall take due care not to publish or broadcast untrue, inaccurate, misleading or distorted material or information. It also states that special care should be made to avoid distortions made possible by the new information and communication technologies. Silvertongue may argue that Owt was in breach of this code. He did not take due care in broadcasting the details of the court proceedings involving Lyriks and broadcasted to his audience distorted information that may mislead the public and prejudice the jury.
The sub judice rule also comes into play in this case. Under this legal convention, once a matter ends up before the courts, public comments that directly or indirectly create a risk of bias or prejudice are forbidden. This rule was developed to regulate the publication of matters which are under consideration of a court. Court matters are regarded as under consideration once it becomes active. A broadcast concerning a matter that is sub judice is only a contempt of court if in the circumstances existing at the time of publication of the article was intended or calculated to prejudice the fair hearing of the proceedings (Alleyne, 2013). From
Open Document