Tag Archives: magistrate’s court

Test your online journalism law: 3 – magistrate criticises police

Every day this week I am publishing an example of a legal dilemma that a journalism student might face (why? Read my previous post on students being publishers, and the responsibilities that come with that). I can’t promise a ‘right answer’ at the end of the week – but I hope you can comment on what a student publisher might do – and why.

Case 3: Judge criticises heavy handed police

Here’s another true story. You are attending magistrate’s court in your search for stories. One case related to a breach of bail conditions.

As the defendant hadn’t reported to a police station as required, seven police officers went to his house to find out why. 

The magistrate questioned why it had taken so many police.

“Clearly there is no crime in Heretown if so many police could be spared.”

The defendant was put on an electronic tag instead.

You decide to write a story along the lines of ‘magistrate criticises police’ against the background of the case.

The questions

  1. What are the legal issues here – and what tests need to be met for them to be an issue?
  2. Would you publish – and why?

‘Answers’ and discussion in the comments