Chapter

Refusing to answer questions

Lord Denning

in The Due Process of Law

Published in print January 1980 | ISBN: 9780406176080
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191705113 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780406176080.003.0004
Refusing to answer questions

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This chapter discusses a case of intense public interest in which two journalists refused to answer questions asked of them in the witness-box. As a result, they were sent to prison. This chapter explains whether they were guilty of contempt of court or not. A preliminary point arose as to the relevancy of the question. A witness is only bound to answer a relevant question, not an irrelevant one. The cases, heard together, were Attorney-General v Mulholland; Attorney-General v Foster. That case made some journalists very angry. The New Statesman published an article by one of them against the judges to which the Daily Mirror retorted with a nice piece of satire. The Mirror recognised that it is the duty of a judge to administer the law as the law stands, and not as some would like it to be.

Keywords: witness; Attorney-General v Mulholland; Attorney-General v Foster; New Statesman; Daily Mirror

Chapter.  1372 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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