Wednesday 14 October 2009

Guardian editorial slams super-injunctions

From today's Guardian editorial: "That media organisations were unable to report a parliamentary question was due to a so-called "super-injunction" obtained by the notorious law firm Carter-Ruck on behalf of Trafigura, a large London-based trading company.
A "super-injunction" is one which not only prevents any publication, but which is itself secret. Search in vain for the case in the court lists of the high court in London: it appears only as "RJW and SJW v The Guardian".
The editorial also says: "It is scandalous that a law firm acting on behalf of a wealthy trading company should have thought, for a moment, that it could gag media organisations from reporting parliamentary business.
"These are lawyers who seem to have lost sight of the fact that people risked their liberty and their lives to fight for the right to report what their elected representatives say and do. It is little wonder that some social media websites went into virtual meltdown yesterday at the arrogant effrontery involved.
"Trafigura is an unappetising company which purchases smooth PR (it was the official sponsor of the recent British Lions tour) with the same no-expense-spared approach as it has to buying silence. It has threatened to sue journalists in a number of European countries and is even now involved in another aggressive libel action against BBC2's Newsnight. It is rather shameful that British judges should have spared the company's blushes by handing down secret injunctions. But at least the principle for which John Wilkes fought and was imprisoned in the 1770s – the right to report parliament – has not been clouded."

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