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Matrimonial Causes (Reports) Act (Northern Ireland) 1966

1966 CHAPTER 29

An Act to regulate the publication of reports of certain classes of judicial proceedings.

[3rd November 1966]

1Restriction on publication of reports of judicial proceedings.N.I.

(1)Any person being the proprietor, editor or publisher of a newspaper or periodical, or being the person in Northern Ireland responsible for its general distribution who, in relation to any judicial proceedings for dissolution of marriage, nullity of marriage, [F1 or judicial separation, or in relation to any proceedings under Article 29 of the Matrimonial Causes (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 [1978 NI 15] (proceedings by one spouse against the other for financial provision) or in relation to any proceedings for the discharge or variation of an order made in connection with any such cause or matter or for the temporary suspension of any provision of any such order or the revival of the operation of any provision so suspended,] publishes or causes or procures to be published any particulars other than the following, that is to say:—

(a)the names, addresses and occupations of the parties and witnesses;

(b)a concise statement of the charges, defences and counter-charges in support of which evidence has been given;

(c)submissions on any point of law arising in the course of the proceedings, and the decision of the court thereon; and

(d)the judgment of the court and any observations made by the court in giving its judgment,

shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding four months, or to a fine not exceeding[F2 level 3 on the standard scale]F2, or to both.

[F3(1A)Subsection (1) shall extend to proceedings under Part V of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 subject to the modification that the matters allowed to be published or caused or procured to be published by virtue of paragraph (b) of that subsection shall be particulars of the declaration sought.]

F3(2)A prosecution for an offence under this section shall not be instituted otherwise than by or with the consent of the Attorney General.

(3)Nothing in this section shall apply to—

(a)the printing of any pleading, transcript of evidence or other document for use in connection with any such judicial proceedings as are mentioned in subsection (1) or the communication thereof to any person concerned in the proceedings; or

(b)the publication of any notice or report in pursuance of the directions of a court; or

(c)the publication of any matter in—

(i)any separate volume or part of any series of law reports which does not form part of any other publication and consists solely of reports of proceedings in courts of law; or

(ii)any publication of a technical character intended for circulation among members of the legal or medical profession.

F11978 NI 15

F21984 NI 3

F31989 NI 4

2Short title.N.I.

This Act may be cited as the Matrimonial Causes (Reports) Act (Northern Ireland) 1966.