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Daithí Mac Síthigh

The United Kingdom has seen many developments in the funding of academic research in recent decades. These changes bring with them influential models of evaluation, including the cyclical rating of selected publications, the assessment of case studies of societal and economic impact, and the awarding of an increasingly significant share of the national research budget on the basis of the review of proposals (not just to open calls but to targeted opportunities for research on particular topics). With over 100 institutions now teaching law in the UK, there is significant variation between law schools. Yet there are areas where there is little by way of standardisation, including the policies adopted by journal editors for evaluating submissions, and the assessment of staff for possible promotion to a higher grade. In this chapter, the particular impact of REF and the research councils on the evaluation of legal research, and the interaction between the two models of review, is emphasised.

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Daithí Mac Síthigh

Contempt of court is a doctrine that has long faced challenges relating to changes in the media. The interest of the press in court proceedings, and the evolution of an often undeferential media, makes it a significant issue of which any sensible editor should be aware. Nonetheless, contempt is facing a number of quite substantial challenges in relation to social media. Indeed, even where contempt has been placed on a statutory basis, the specific language used may lead to doubts as to the application of the law to particular situations (particularly where it contemplates or refers to conventional structures of publishing and broadcasting). In this chapter, I outline some of the challenges, drawing both on case law and on the recent work of the Law Commission (England and Wales), the Australian Law Reform Commission, and the New Zealand Law Commission. Keywords: contempt of court; criminal law; jury trial; freedom of expression; Law Commission