Executive summary

Why is the power important?

4If courts did not have the power or authority to punish for contempt, there is every prospect they would cease to function properly, with disrupted and delayed hearings and adjourned and rescheduled trials. The direct and indirect costs to the parties and the state from these outcomes would be serious and substantial.

5Public confidence in the administration of justice would suffer because of unenforced court orders. There would also be adverse financial consequences for successful parties, and unanswered attacks on the independence, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.

6Courts need the authority or power to punish for contempt to preserve an effective, efficient and expeditious court system and to maintain the rule of law in our constitutional democracy.