Courts Act 2003

The Courts Act 2003 makes provision about the courts and their procedure and practice; judges and magistrates; fines and the enforcement processes of the courts; about periodical payments of damages.

Criminal court judges are allowed to order anyone found guilty of ‘serious misconduct’ to pay prosecution or defence costs incurred or wasted as a result.

Contempt of court

The powers under the Courts Act 2003 are aimed at newspapers, jurors, witnesses and others who force a trial to collapse, perhaps by revealing information that would normally be kept from a jury. There is no limit on the amount 3rd parties may be ordered to pay. Newspapers that have risked being fined a few thousand pounds for contempt can now be ordered to pay much more.


Courts Act 2003