Internet archives ‘create contempt risk’

Former Lord Chancellor calls for removal of archived internet news articles relating to high-profile criminal cases

Lord Falconer yesterday called for action to be taken to reduce the risk of news articles written before the commencement of criminal trials influencing their outcomes. He proposed that publishers should be made to remove archived pages which contain prejudicial material from their websites during trials or face the risk of being found guilty of contempt of court.

The rules would only apply to cases which generate intense media interest. Under the proposed scheme, the Attorney-General would be responsible for identifying cases that could be affected.

Lord Falconer was speaking on the BBC´s Law in Action programme which was broadcast on Tuesday 19th February 2008 at 1600GMT on BBC Radio 4.