Chapter 005:05 - Contempt of Court

Link to law: http://legalaffairs.gov.gy/information/laws-of-guyana/444-chapter-505-contempt-of-court/file

L.R.O. 1/2012
LAWS OF GUYANA
CONTEMPT OF COURT ACT
CHAPTER 5:05
Act
25 of 2010
Current Authorised Pages
Pages
(inclusive)
Authorised
by L.R.O.
1 – 11 ... 1/2012
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Note
on
Subsidiary Legislation
This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.
Note
on
Repeal
This Act repealed the Contempt of Court Act (20 of 1919)

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CHAPTER 5:05
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION
PART I
PRELIMINARY
1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
PART II
OFFENCES AND PUNISHMENT
3. Jury’s deliberations.
4. Use of tape recorders.
5. Contempt of Court.
6. Punishment for contempt of Court.
7. Payment and enforcement of fines.
8. Revocation of order for contempt.
PART III
CERTAIN PUBLICATIONS NOT CONTEMPT
9. Innocent publication or distribution not contempt.
10. Fair and accurate report of proceedings not contempt.
11. Fair criticism of judicial act not contempt.
PART IV
PROCEDURE FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT
12. Contempt in the face of the Court.
13. No appeal from order for contempt in face of the Court.
14. Contempt of Court in other cases.
15. Appeal from order for contempt in other cases.
16. Limitation of action for contempt.

CONTEMPT OF COURT ACT
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SECTION
PART V
MISCELLANEOUS
17. Saving.
18. Non-derogation from any other law.
__________________________
25 of 2010
CHAPTER 5:05
An Act to define and regulate the law with respect to
contempt of Court and related matters.
[2ND NOVEMBER, 2010]
Short title.

Interpretation.
PART I
PRELIMINARY
1. This Act may be cited as the Contempt of Court
Act.
2. In this Act –
“contempt of court” means any conduct, whether committed
in the face of the Court or not, that substantially
obstructs or interferes with, prejudices, or tends to
substantially obstruct or interfere with or prejudices,
the administration of justice in any proceedings
pending before the Court, and includes –
(a) the wilful disobedience to, or disregard for,
any judgement, decree, direction or order of
a Court;
(b) the wilful breach of an undertaking given in
CONTEMPT OF COURT ACT
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Jury’s
deliberations.

Use of tape
recorders.
a Court;
(c) any insult or disrespect offered to the Court;
(d) the interruption of proceedings pending
before the Court;
(e) the use of abusive or threatening language;
(f) the use of violence or threatening the use of
violence;
(g) any act calculated to scandalised or lower
the authority of the Court; or
(h) any other act or conduct that disrupts the
due course of any proceedings before the
Court;
“Court” means the High Court including the Full Court of the
High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Caribbean
Court of Justice;
“publication” includes any speech, writing, picture, sign or
other visible representation, broadcast or other
communication in whatever form, which is addressed
to the public at large or any section of the public.
PART II
OFFENCES AND PUNISHMENT
3. It shall be a contempt of Court to obtain or attempt
to obtain or disclose any statements made, opinions
expressed, arguments advanced or votes cast by members of a
jury in the course of their deliberations in any criminal
proceedings.
4. (1) Subject to subsection (4), it shall be a contempt
of Court to use in Court any tape recorder or other instrument
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Contempt of
Court.
Punishment for
contempt of
Court.
for recording sound, except with the leave of the Court.
(2) Any leave granted under subsection (1) may be
granted subject to such conditions as the Court deems fit with
respect to the use of any recording made pursuant to the
leave, and the Court may at any time revoke such leave,
either generally or in relation to any particular part of the
proceedings.
(3) Without prejudice to any other power to deal
with an act of contempt under this Act, the Court may order
the instrument, or any recording made with it, or both, be
forfeited, and any instrument or recording so forfeited shall
be disposed of or dealt with in such manner as the Court may
direct subject to the owner’s right to be heard as to reasons
why such instrument or recording shall not be forfeited.
(4) This section does not apply to the use of sound
recordings for purposes of official transcripts of proceedings.
5. Any person who commits a contempt of Court
shall be guilty of an offence.
6. (1) Any person natural or person artificial found
to be in contempt of Court is liable in the case of –
(a) an individual, to a fine not exceeding
two hundred and fifty thousand
dollars or imprisonment for a term
not exceeding three months;
(b) a company or other association, to a
fine not exceeding seven hundred and
fifty thousand dollars.
(2) Where the contemnor is a company, and the
contempt is proved to have been committed with the consent
or connivance, or is attributable to the reckless conduct or act
on the part of, any director, manager or any other person in
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Payment and
enforcement of
fines.

c. 3:02

Revocation of
order for
contempt.

Innocent
publication or
distribution
not contempt.
charge of or responsible for the conduct of the business of the
company, that person shall also be deemed to be guilty of
contempt of Court and is liable to the punishment prescribed
under subsection (1) (a):
Provided that such a person shall not be deemed to be
guilty of contempt of Court if he proves that the contempt
was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all
due diligence to prevent its commission.
(3) Where the Court imposes a fine for the
punishment of contempt of Court, the Court shall order that
the fine be paid within a definite time, but not less than seven
days, after the date of the order, save and except where the
Court, in its own deliberate judgment allows for a reprimand.
7. (1) All fines payable under any order for
contempt of Court shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.
(2) The payment of a fine imposed as punishment
for a contempt of Court shall be enforced upon the order of
the Court in like manner as if the order were a judgment or
order for the payment of money under the High Court Act.
8. The Court may, of its own motion or on an
application on behalf of the contemnor revoke or vary an
order for contempt of Court.
PART III
CERTAIN PUBLICATIONS NOT CONTEMPT
9. (1) A person shall not be guilty of contempt of
Court for publication that would otherwise be a contempt of
Court, if at the time of such publication he did not know, or
did not have any reasonable grounds for suspecting that the
relevant proceedings are pending before the Court.
(2) A person shall not to be guilty of or punishable
for contempt of Court for the distribution of a publication
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Fair and
accurate report
of proceedings
not contempt.
Fair criticism
of judicial act
not contempt.
Contempt in
face of the
Court.
which would otherwise be a contempt of Court, if a time of
the distribution he did not know, or did not have any
reasonable grounds for suspecting, that the publication
contained or was likely to contain any matter which amounts
to contempt of Court.
10. (1) Subject to this section, a person shall not be
guilty of contempt of Court for the publication of a fair and
accurate report of any proceedings pending before the Court
or any stage thereof.
(2) A Court may, where it appears to be necessary
to avoid obstruction or prejudice to the administration of
justice in any proceedings pending before the Court, order
that the publication of the proceedings or any part thereof be
prohibited.
(3) Any order made under subsection (2) may be
made subject to such conditions as the Court deems fit.
(4) When an order is made under subsection (2)
any person who, with knowledge of it disobeys that order,
shall be guilty of contempt and punishable as it prescribed in
section 6.
11. A person shall not guilty of contempt of Court for
the publication of any fair comment on the merits of any
proceeding which have been heard and finally determined by
the Court.
PART IV
PROCEDURE FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT
12. (1) Where, in the opinion of the Court a person
has committed a contempt in the face of the Court, that is, in
the presence or hearing of the Court, the Court may cause
that person to be brought before it, either forthwith or at any
time before the rising of the Court on the same day, and shall

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No appeal from
order for
contempt in
face of the
Court.
Contempt of
Court in other
cases.
(a) inform him of the contempt with
which he charged;
(b) afford him an opportunity to put
forward a defence to the charge; and
(c) after hearing him in his defence and
the evidence of any witness he may
tender, proceed to pronounce upon a
final determination of the charge,
either forthwith or on such date and
at such time as the Court may appoint
in that behalf.
(2) Upon a final determination of a charge for
contempt of Court under subsection (1) (c), the Court may
make such order for the imposition of punishment under
section 6 or the discharge of such person as it thinks fit.
(3) Where the Court does not determine a charge
for contempt of Court forthwith, the Court may order that the
person be detained in such custody as the court may specify
but the detention shall not exceed seven days before a final
determination of the matter:
Provided that the Court may order that the person may
be released on bail or on such conditions as the Court thinks
fit.
13. No appeal shall lie from any order of guilt for
contempt of Court, or punishment imposed therefor, made by
the Court under section 12.
14. (1) Where it is alleged that any person has
committed a contempt, other than contempt in the face of the
Court, proceedings against that person may be brought by
way of an application to the Court.
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c. 3:02
c. 3:01
c. 3:07

Appeal from
order for
contempt in
other cases.
c. 3:02
c. 3:01

Limitation of
action for
contempt.

Savings.
(2) An application under subsection (1) shall be made in like manner as if it were an application under the
High Court Act, the Court of Appeal Act or the Caribbean
Court of Justice Act, as the case may be.
(3) Every application made under this section shall
be supported by an affidavit, which shall specify the nature of
the contempt of which the person is alleged to have
committed and all material facts, including the date or dates
of the commission of the alleged contempt and all documents
relied on.
15. An appeal shall lie from any order for contempt
of Court, or punishment imposed, made by the Court under
section 14, in the case of –
(a) a single judge of the High Court, to the Full
Court of the High Court;
(b) the Full Court of the High Court, to the
Court of Appeal; and
(c) the Court of Appeal, to the Caribbean Court
of Justice.
in like manner as if the order were a judgement or order
under the High Court Act or the Court of Appeal Act, as the
case may be.
16. All proceedings for contempt of Court under this
Act shall be brought within one year from the date on which
the contempt is alleged to have been committed.
PART V
MISCELLANEOUS
17. Nothing in this Act shall prejudice any defence
available at common law to a charge of contempt of Court.
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Non-
derogation
from any other
law.

18. The provisions of this Act shall be in addition to,
and not in derogation of any other law in force, in relation to
contempt of Court.
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