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Criminal Behaviour Orders - Annex K

Legal Guidance

R v St Albans Crown Court, ex parte T, and Chief Constable of Surrey v JHG and DHG [2002] EWHC 1129 (Admin)

In The St Albans case, the judge stated that:

"Whilst the court plainly does not have to refer to every factor which may weigh in favour of a section 39 direction being made, it is necessary, in my view, that it should briefly summarise the principal factors weighing in favour, even if the decision finally is that these factors are outweighed by the public interest in disclosure."

The following considerations were identified as relevant by the Court in the St Albans case when considering imposing or removing reporting restrictions:

  1. In deciding whether to impose or thereafter to lift reporting restrictions, the court will consider whether there are good reasons for naming the defendant.
  2. In each case there will be a wide variety of factors which have to be considered, and in each case the balance has to be struck between the desirability of public disclosure on one hand and the need to protect the welfare of the youth on the other after a full appreciation of the relevant considerations.
  3. In reaching that decision, the court will give considerable weight to the age of the offender and the potential damage to any young person of public identification as a criminal before the offender has the benefit or burden of adulthood.
  4. By virtue of section 44 of the C&YPA 1993 Act, the Court must 'have regard to the welfare of the child or young person'.
  5. The prospect of being named in court with the accompanying disgrace is a powerful deterrent and the naming of a defendant in the context of his punishment serves as a deterrent to others. These deterrents are proper objectives for the court to seek.
  6. There is strong public interest in open justice and in the public knowing as much as possible about what has happened in court, including the identity of those who have committed crime.
  7. The weight to be attributed to the different factors may shift at different stages of the proceedings, and, in particular, after the defendant has been found, or pleads, guilty and is sentenced. It may then be appropriate to place greater weight on the interest of the public in knowing the identity of those who have committed crimes, particularly serious and detestable crimes.
  8. The fact that an appeal has been made may be a material consideration.
  9. Where an ASBO has been imposed, that is a factor which reinforces, and in some cases may strongly reinforce the general public interest in the public disclosure of court proceedings.
  10. The Court should not have regard to the impact of publicity on the other members of the youth's family.
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