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Contents (1970 - 01)
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Supreme Court Rules 1970
Current version for 6 January 2017 to date (accessed 25 July 2017 at 02:53)
Part 55
Part 55 Contempt
Division 1 Preliminary
1   Interpretation
In this Part contemnor means a person guilty or alleged to be guilty of contempt of the Court or of any other court.
Division 2 Contempt in the face or hearing of the Court
2   Arrest
cf High Court Rules, O 56, r 1 (1).
Where it is alleged, or appears to the Court on its own view, that a person is guilty of contempt of court, committed in the face of the Court or in the hearing of the Court, the Court may:
(a)  by oral order direct that the contemnor be brought before the Court, or
(b)  issue a warrant for the arrest of the contemnor.
3   Charge, defence and determination
cf HCR, O 56, r 1 (2).
Where the contemnor is brought before the Court, the Court shall:
(a)  cause him to be informed orally of the contempt with which he is charged,
(b)  require him to make his defence to the charge,
(c)  after hearing him, determine the matter of the charge, and
(d)  make an order for the punishment or discharge of the contemnor.
4   Interim custody
(1)  The Court may, pending disposal of the charge:
(a)  direct that the contemnor be kept in such custody as the Court may determine, or
(b)  direct that the contemnor be released.
cf HCR, O 56, r 1 (3).
(2)  The Court may make a direction under subrule 1 (b) on terms, which may include a requirement that the contemnor give security, in such sum as the Court directs, for his appearance in person to answer the charge.
cf HCR, O 56, r 1 (3).
Division 3 Motion or proceedings for punishment
5   Application
cf HCR, O 56, r 2.
This Division does not apply to a case in which the Court proceeds under Division 2.
6   Procedure generally
(1)  Where contempt is committed in connection with proceedings in the Court, an application for punishment for the contempt must be made by motion on notice in the proceedings, but, if separate proceedings for punishment of the contempt are commenced, the proceedings so commenced may be continued unless the Court otherwise orders.
(2)  Where contempt is committed, but not in connection with proceedings in the Court, proceedings for punishment of the contempt must be commenced by summons, but, if an application for punishment of the contempt is made by motion on notice in any proceedings, the application may be heard and disposed of in the latter proceedings, unless the Court otherwise orders.
7   Statement of charge
cf HCR, O 56, r 3 (a).
A statement of charge, that is, a statement specifying the contempt of which the contemnor is alleged to be guilty, shall be subscribed to, or filed with, the notice of motion or summons.
8   Evidence
(1)  Subject to subrule (2), the evidence in support of the charge shall be by affidavit.
(2)  The Court may, on terms, permit evidence in support of the charge to be given otherwise than by affidavit.
9   Service
cf HCR, O 56, rr 4, 5.
The notice of motion or summons, the statement of charge, and the affidavits shall be served personally on the contemnor.
10   Arrest
cf HCR, O 56, r 6.
Where:
(a)  notice of a motion for punishment of a contempt has been filed or proceedings have been commenced for punishment of a contempt, and
(b)  it appears to the Court that the contemnor is likely to abscond or otherwise withdraw himself from the jurisdiction of the Court,
the Court may issue a warrant for the arrest of the contemnor and his detention in custody until he is brought before the Court to answer the charge, unless he, in the meantime, gives security in such manner and in such sum as the Court directs, for his appearance in person to answer the charge and to submit to the judgment or order of the Court.
11   Motion or proceedings by the registrar
(1)  Where it is alleged, or appears to the Court on its own view, that a person is guilty of contempt of the Court or of any other court, the Court may, by order, direct the registrar to apply by motion for, or to commence proceedings for, punishment of the contempt.
(2)  Subrule (1) does not affect such right as any person other than the registrar may have to apply by motion for, or to commence proceedings for, punishment of contempt.
(3)  Where:
(a)  it appears to the District Court on its own view that a person is guilty of contempt of court, whether committed in the face or hearing of the District Court or not, and the District Court refers the matter to the Court for determination under section 203 (1) of the District Court Act 1973,
(b)    (Repealed)
(c)  it appears to a Local Court on its own view that a person is guilty of contempt of the Local Court, whether during a proceeding before the Local Court or otherwise, and the court refers the matter to the Court for determination under section 27B of the Local Courts Act 1982,
the registrar must commence proceedings for punishment of the contempt, and no direction from the Court shall be necessary to enable the registrar to do so.
(4)  Subrule (3) does not affect such right as any person other than the registrar may have to commence proceedings for punishment of the contempt prior to the commencement of proceedings by the registrar.
(5)  Subrule (3) does not apply in the event that a person other than the registrar commences proceedings for punishment of the contempt prior to the commencement of proceedings by the registrar.
(6)  Subject to the rules and to any Act, where, pursuant to a power conferred by or under an Act, a court or other body or person refers or reports a matter to the Court with a view to the Court dealing with a possible contempt of the court, body or person, the registrar shall:
(a)  take advice from the Crown Solicitor as to whether the registrar should take proceedings for contempt in respect of the matter,
(b)  unless the Court otherwise orders, act in accordance with the advice, and
(c)  inform the Attorney-General of the matter.
Division 4 General
12   Warrant
cf HCR, O 56, r 7.
A warrant for the arrest or detention under this Part of a contemnor shall be addressed to the Sheriff and may be issued under the hand of the Judge or officer presiding in the Court directing the arrest or detention.
13   Punishment
(1)  Where the contemnor is not a corporation, the Court may punish contempt by committal to a correctional centre or fine or both.
cf HCR, O 56, r 9.
(2)  Where the contemnor is a corporation, the Court may punish contempt by sequestration or fine or both.
(3)  The Court may make an order for punishment on terms, including a suspension of punishment or a suspension of punishment in case the contemnor gives security in such manner and in such sum as the Court may approve for good behaviour and performs the terms of the security.
14   Discharge
cf HCR, O 56, r 11.
Where a contemnor is committed to a correctional centre for a term, the Court may order his discharge before the expiry of the term.
15   (Repealed)