Contempt of court is an offence under section 24 of the Local Court Act 2007 and section 199 of the District Court Act 1973, which carries a maximum penalty of 28 days in prison.
To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
The following conduct has been found to amount to contempt:
However, the courts have made clear that all options should be exhausted before a contempt charge is brought.
These options include:
The courts have also found that magistrates and judges should be able to resist the sting of insults directed at them and that rudeness and extreme discourtesy by lawyers does not amount to contempt.
Duress is a defence to the charge.
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