Criminal Contempt of Court and the right to a fair trial: Andrwe Chisala

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Chisala, Andrew
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The upsurge in criminal contempt cases being resorted to by the Courts of Law in Zambia prompted the researcher to undertake the study. Contempt of Court may either be civil or criminal. This essay has only examined the question regarding the law of criminal contempt of Court in Zambia as it affects the right to a fair trial without covering the aspect of civil contempt. This essay examines the purpose and use of contempt of Court powers as they relate to the right to a fair trial. It also makes a critical analysis of case law on criminal contempt of court in Zambia as it relates to the summary procedure used in contempt proceedings. The essay has revealed that contempt powers are now very sparingly exercised in Western countries and many commonwealth countries. It has also observed that the purpose of the contempt of Court power is not to vindicate or uphold the majesty and dignity of the court but only to enable the court to function. In conclusion, the essay acknowledges that the offence of contempt of court still has a valid place in Zambia in order to curb general interference in the administration of justice. The essay also observes the abuses to which contempt powers have been put and recommends reforms in the law and procedural rules used in contempt of Court proceedings. It is my sincere hope that this essay will contribute to the understanding of criminal contempt of court and the purpose and use of the contempt powers.
Contempt of court--Zambia