certify an offence (British law)

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Katya

Member
Russia, Russian
Hello, I'm struggling to understand what "certify offence" means in the sentence below (it's an extract from a British law). Does it mean they'll give it to the High Court to deal with? but the next sentence does not make sense then (to me). Please please help!!!

"If any person is guilty of any act or omission in relation to proceedings before the Tribunal which, if those proceedings were proceedings before a court having power to commit for contempt, would constitute contempt of court, the Tribunal may certify the offence to the High Court or, in Scotland, the Court of Session."

"Where an offence is so certified, the court may inquire into the matter and, after hearing any witness who may be produced against or on behalf of the person charged with the offence, and after hearing any statement that may be offered in defence, deal with him in any manner in which it could deal with him if he had committed the like offence in relation to the court."
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    A tribunal does not have the power to punish anybody for contempt of the Tribunal. The first part allows the Tribunal to pass details of the offence to a court to deal with.

    The second part allows the Court to make inquiries and hear witnesses to decide if the actions of the person were such that, if they had happened in a court, would have been considered contempt of court. If so, the Court may deal with the person in the same way as if the contempt of the Tribunal had been a contempt of the Court.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I didn't know this law term, but find it occurs in numerous Acts. It's always to do with the powers of tribunals, commissions, and so on, which are not courts of law. When an action resembling contempt of court takes place in one of these, it is passed to a real court to be treated as an offence of contempt of court. Evidently the head of the tribunal or commission 'certifies' that such an offence has taken place, so that the court can act on it.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    certify
    1. trans. To make (a thing) certain; to guarantee as certain, attest in an authoritative manner; to give certain information of.
    1860 J. KENNEDY Rob of Bowl xi. 110 We may certify what we have seen to his Lordship.
    OED
     

    Katya

    Member
    Russia, Russian
    Andygc, entangledbank, panjandrum, thank you all so much! Andygc and entangledbank thank you for such detailed explanations! It's all clear to me now.
     
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