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Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999

Section 45: Power to restrict reporting of criminal proceedings involving persons under 18

169.Section 45 gives courts the power to impose prohibitions on reporting information leading to the identification of witnesses, complainants or defendants under the age of 18 once proceedings have started, whether in a court in England and Wales or Northern Ireland or in a court martial. It does not apply to proceedings in youth courts or to any other proceedings where the automatic restrictions imposed by section 49 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 have effect. The imposition of restrictions under the section is at the discretion of the court. As under section 49 of the 1933 Act, the restrictions can apply to any witness, not just witnesses to the commission of the offence.

170.If the court so wishes, it can choose to impose no restrictions at all or direct that the reporting ban is to have effect with specified exceptions. The restrictions will apply until the person reaches the age of 18 unless, in the meantime, the court decides to lift or relax them.

171.In respect of criminal proceedings, the section replaces section 39 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and will extend to criminal proceedings in Northern Ireland and courts-martial. Section 39 of the 1933 Act is, however, not repealed but is amended by paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 so that it will now relate solely to non-criminal proceedings. But section 39 will continue to apply in criminal cases begun prior to the date on which the change comes into force.

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