3 MARCH 1961, Page 16


SIR,—In your leading article last week you state, in relation to convictions for contempt, that 'a defendant has . . . no appeal from a verdict.' This has in fact now been remedied by the Administration of Justice Act 1960, Section 13, giving a right of appeal from any order or decision of 'a court in exercise of its jurisdiction for civil or criminal con- tempt.

It should also be noted that under Section 11 it is provided that a person (which, of course, includes newspapers and their editors) shall not be guilty of contempt of court by publishing matter calculated to interfere with the course of justice in any proceed- ings that are pending or imminent at the time of publication if he did not knoW and had no reason to suspect they were so pending or imminent and he was not negligent. The burden of proving this rests with the defence.--Yours faithfully.