In In the Matter of Gous Oddin [2016] EWCA Civ 173, the Court of Appeal reminded practitioners (and the judiciary) of the importance of compliance with the procedural protections that must be afforded to an individual facing contempt proceedings. As Theis J usefully summarised the position:

  1. . Before any court embarks on hearing a committal application, whether for  a contempt in the face of the court or for breach of an order, it should ensure that the following matters are at the forefront of its mind:
    1. There is complete clarity at the start of the proceedings as to precisely what the foundation of the alleged contempt is: contempt in the face of the court, or breach of an order.
    2. Prior to the hearing the alleged contempt should be set out clearly in a document or application that complies with FPR rule 37 [COPR rule 186] and which the person accused of contempt has been served with.
    3. If the alleged contempt is founded on breach of a previous court order, the person accused had been served with that order, and that it contained a penal notice in the required form and place in the order.
    4. Whether the person accused of contempt has been given the opportunity to secure legal representation, as they are entitled to.
    5. Whether the judge hearing the committal application should do so, or whether it should be heard by another judge.
    6. Whether the person accused of contempt has been advised of the right to remain silent.
    7. If the person accused of contempt chooses to give evidence, whether they have been warned about self-incrimination.
    8. The need to ensure that in order to find the breach proved the evidence must meet the criminal standard of proof, of being sure that the breach is established.
    9. Any committal order made needs to set out what the findings are that establish the contempt of court, which are the foundation of the court's  decision regarding any committal order.
  2. . Counsel and solicitors are reminded of their duty to assist the court. This is particularly important when considering procedural matters where a person's liberty is at stake.