• Constitutionality of Contempt of Court - Media freedom of speech. The Constitutional Challenge of the Common Law Crime of Contempt of Court-The media,

Lambert Academic Publishing
Publication date:

(Stanley Shanapinda, is a Legal Services, Corporate Governance, Company Secretarial, Information and Communication Technology Policy and Regulation Consultant. He is an admitted Legal Practitioner of the High Court of Namibia.)


The common law offence "contempt of court" is the legal mechanism dating back to the early 1100''s by which the judiciary ensures its independence, effectiveness and dignity. It is the means by which the court avoids interference with the administration of justice thereby ensuring that the accused has a fair trial. It is the means by which the court punishes scandalous acts . With the rising of the new constitutional era by which all laws, be they common or statutory, are to conform to the deemed contemporary values of a new democratic society, the offence of contempt has to be in conformity with the values of the Namibian Constitution. One of these values is the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression bestowed upon the media. The media includes the press, radio, the Internet, and the television. The essence of this book is thus to examine to what extent the common law crime of contempt is in conformity with these constitutional values. In other words, does this offence reasonably restrict the free legal speech of the media as required by a democratic society such as ours? Or is the restriction unwarranted?

MATERIAS: common-law, crime, Contempt of court, constitution, freedom of speech, Mediation, Constitutionality, Freedom of Expresion, Expression, Law, Rights, Constitutional Rights, Constitutional Freedom