Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851

Publicity of proceedings.

Contempt of Court.

9. The right of the public to have access to the place in which justices shall sit shall be subject to the following provisions:

1. In all cases of summary proceedings the place in which any justice or justices shall sit to hear and determine any complaint shall be deemed an open court, to which the public generally may have access, so far as the same can conveniently contain them; and the parties by and against whom any complaint or information shall there be heard shall be admitted to conduct or make their full answer and defence thereto respectively, and to have the witnesses examined and cross-examined, by themselves or by counsel or attorney on their behalf:

2. In all cases of proceedings for indictable offences the place in which any justice or justices shall sit to take any examination or statement relating to any such offence shall not be deemed an open court for that purpose; but it shall be lawful for such justice or justices, in his or their discretion, to order that no person (the counsel or attorney of any person then being in such court as a prisoner only excepted) shall have access to or be or remain in such place without the consent or permission of such justice or justices, if it appear to him or them that the ends of justice will be thereby best answered:

And if any person shall wilfully insult any justice or justices so sitting in any such court or place, or shall commit any other contempt of any such court, it shall be lawful for such justice or justices by any verbal order either to direct such person to be removed from such court or place, or to be taken into custody, and at any time before the rising of such court by warrant to commit such person to gaol for any period not exceeding seven days, or to fine such person in any sum not exceeding forty shillings.