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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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In English law, prior to prosecuting a person in an

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In English law, prior to prosecuting a person for negligence in an accident leading to a possible manslaughter charge, can a public internet forum discussing the case jeopardise the chance of a fair trial?

Could it actually result in the case being declared void before reaching court?

Thank you.

No, not usually.

It would only be an issue if there had been something incriminating. This used to be a much bigger issue before the Internet. Then judges would move cases to different areas of the country if the local news had emphasised the case too much. Now generally they will say there is no point because any person can see online entries anywhere in the world.

However there are offences in putting comments online subject to sub justice.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your answer.

I don't understand:

However there are offences in putting comments online subject to sub justice.

You do commit offences if you disclose something that is not public knowledge in an ongoing case.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So publishing/mentioning details of a previous incident/accident by the person, which isn't widely-known, could be an offence, or, at least, prejudicial to the new case, even before it is taken to court?

Or does this only apply to an ongoing case?

It wouldnt be an offence contrary to public justice but it would probably be a public order or a harassment.

Also, the fact of posting is something that could be used against you if your evidence is important.

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