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Independent: Poll finds judges ‘too ready’ to gag newspapers

June 1st, 2011Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

The findings of a poll run by the Independent show  the majority of respondents believe “judges have been too ready to issue gagging orders” which enable the rich and famous to protect their privacy, the paper reports.

People appear to have little sympathy with those high-profile film, television and sports stars who have resorted to the courts to stop embarrassing details of their private lives reaching the public domain, according to the ComRes survey.

According to the Independent, which reported last week that at least 333 gagging orders have been granted in the last five years, 70 per cent of voters in the poll agreed that courts had been “too willing” to grant injunctions.

A total of 65 per cent believed that “celebrities and sports stars owe their lifestyle to their public profile so they should not complain about intrusion into their private lives”.

Although voters disapprove of the efforts that well-known figures make to prevent damaging headlines, they also believe by a narrower majority that privacy rules have failed to keep pace with the rapid growth of the internet.

This comes as a new account appears on Twitter publishing allegations of identities said to be being protected by injunctions. Following a previous case of a Twitter account publishing accusations against celebrities of taking out injunctions, as well as the wide Tweeting of individual identities said to be subject to privacy injunctions, the site reportedly confirmed it would hand over details about users if legally obliged to do so.

According to reports, just this weekend, in an entirely separate case not related to injunctions, a local council was allegedly successful in making Twitter hand over user details for a court case.

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