Online Contempt of Court: Gideon Benaim appears on Sky News HD

Posted: December 4, 2013

Gideon Benaim of Michael Simkins LLP appeared on Sky News HD this morning to talk about the Attorney General’s announcement that his office will be issuing Advisory Notices to social media users about contempt of court.

There have been a number of recent high profile examples about things being done online by individuals that was contrary to the law. To highlight a few: by members of juries during criminal trials, by a well-known person disclosing the identity of the mothers of the victims of sexual assault – thereby disclosing the identities of the victims, and, by disclosing the identity of individuals who were protected by court orders.

It’s hoped that by educating social media users about the risks it will help avoid many instances of the inadvertent posting of unlawful information. Some will purposely disregard the law, but they are a small minority. Once the innocent majority realise the risks and understand that they are not above the law or beyond its reach when online, it is hoped that they will adjust their behaviour accordingly.