S v Hartmann 1983 ZLR 186 S Crt: lawyers, held a press conference on behalf of their detained clients: convicted of contempt of court: whether there was a real risk as opposed to remote possibility that the publication was calculated to prejudice a fair hearing.

Georges CJ:

Section 20 of the constitution protects freedom of speech. Although this freedom may be limited in terms of s20(2) for the purpose of maintaining the authority of the courts, this inroad into the right of freedom of speech should not be wider or deeper than is required for the achievement of the declared objective. Appellants, both lawyers, held a press conference on behalf of their detained clients declaring their loyalty and innocence and protesting against torture used against their clients. The lawyers were convicted of contempt of court. Held that the South African test of ‘a tendency to prejudice or interfere with the administration of justice’ would make too great an inroad with the right of freedom of expression. The English test should be applied, namely whether there was a real risk as opposed to remote possibility that the publication was calculated to prejudice a fair hearing.

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