The Attorney General for Northern Ireland issues a reminder of the need for caution around commentary on active criminal proceedings

Publication date:

The Attorney advises the public as well as media outlets to think about potential consequences before publishing, posting or sharing commentary, online or otherwise. 


The Attorney would remind the public and the media of the risk of any person publishing, posting or sharing material being found to be in contempt of court. Those commenting should consider the provisions of the Contempt of Court Act 1981. 


Guidance for social media users can be found here: Social media and contempt of court (AGNI) | Attorney General for Northern Ireland (


The PSNI has already highlighted the separate statutory requirements to protect the anonymity of any person against whom certain sexual offences, including rape, are alleged to have been committed. The relevant legislation is the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992.