New Bill on contempt of court

A Bill that puts into writing existing contempt of court laws was tabled in Parliament yesterday - a move the Law Ministry says will better protect the right to a fair trial and ensure that court orders are obeyed. The Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill clarifies what the public can and cannot say about court proceedings, to prevent cases from being prejudiced.

It also makes clear what amounts to unfounded claims of bias against judges, to maintain the high level of trust in courts. Under the Bill, the High Court and Court of Appeal can impose a fine of up to $100,000 and/or three years in jail. Law Minister K. Shanmugam made it clear that the Bill does not expand on contempt laws, but is simply "a crystallisation of the law".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2016, with the headline 'New Bill on contempt of court'. Print Edition | Subscribe