Tag Archives: injunctions

BBC: David Cameron’s concern about injunctions creating privacy law

The BBC has reported that the prime minister, David Cameron has expressed his unease at judges using human rights legislation “to deliver a sort of privacy law”.

Mr Cameron made the comments about injunctions during a question-and-answer session at a General Motors factory in Luton.

What ought to happen in a parliamentary democracy, is Parliament, which you elect and put there, should decide how much protection we want for individuals and [on] freedom of the press and the rest of it.

The full article can be read here.

Inforrm Blog: Superinjunction decision raises free speech conundrum

Last week Journalism.co.uk reported that a superinjunction preventing news organisations from naming Take That singer Howard Donald had been lifted by the court of appeal.

It means that the media can report the identity of the claimant, Donald, in the case, but an order banning former girlfriend Adakini Ntuli from selling her story remains.

Commenting on the decision in an opinion piece on the Inforrm blog (the International Forum for Responsible Media) Charlotte Harris, the head of media at JMW Solicitors LLP, who represented Ntuli in the case, discusses her view on the impact of the decision.

While it may appear at first a success for the free speech cause, she says, the decision presents a set of new difficulties for defendants and claimants in such cases.

In Ms N’tuli’s case, part of her story has been made public but she is prevented from addressing any criticism levelled at her, addressing any speculation or responding fully to press statements made that may be incorrect. Ironically her freedom of speech is more important now then it was back in March when the injunction was first served on her.

The assumptions made about her untold story are now assumptions made about her. Ms N’tuli cannot properly defend herself. She cannot say what she really intended to publish.

…So what of the future claimant? It is going to be harder to secure superinjunctions, anonymised injunctions or, it now seems, to keep an interim injunction in place unless the claimant’s case is proceeding at reasonable pace. The lifting of an injunction obtained, or the revelation of who the parties are can draw further attention to a story and pour fuel on a scandal. I would predict that until there is a clearer picture as to what on earth is going in the Queen’s Bench Division, it is not just defendants who are forced to be brave, but claimants too. If injunctions are to be de-anonymised then it is a lose/lose situation. It might be better to manage the client’s reputation and deal with a scandal through the libel courts.

BBC: Take That star Howard Donald’s superinjunction lifted

A superinjunction preventing news organisations from naming Take That singer Howard Donald has been lifted, according to reports. The injunction had been granted earlier this year by Mr Justice Eady, but was lifted today by the court of appeal.

The lifting of the superinjunction means that the media can now report the claimant, Donald, in the case.

An order banning former girlfriend Adakini Ntuli from selling her story is still in place.

Read the BBC’s report here…

Inforrm Blog: Are celebrity injunctions really a threat to press freedom?

The International Forum for Responsible Media blog adds to the ‘public interest versus privacy’ debate this week, following the issuing of what is understood to be three so-called ‘gagging orders’ this month to prevent the press from publishing information reportedly relating to footballers.

According to reports by the national press, including the Daily Mail, the Guardian and the Press Association, concern has grown over the threat to press freedom posed by such injunctions. In the most recent case, the information in question is reportedly from a stolen mobile phone. How can the measure of being ‘in’ the public interest be applied here, the Inforrm blog asks.

In these circumstances, it is difficult to see what the press are complaining about. Is it seriously being argued that they should be free to publish information derived from stolen mobile phones? If not, then why does the injunction “raise concerns” at all? Does it illustrate a “threat to press freedom” or, rather, the unthinking press reaction to any kind of injunction – which is condemned without any kind of thought or analysis.

The press might like to consider the following question. Does the fact that there have been three privacy injunctions in August illustrate a growing threat to freedom of the press or does it show that, despite the best efforts of the PCC, certain newspapers continue to be in the market for private information the publication of which has no public interest justification?

Earlier this month, according to a report by the Daily Telegraph, Justice Minister Lord McNally said there is a “general consensus” in favour of a law that “clarifies, consolidates and removes some of the more dangerous aspects” of privacy law. But others argued that current legislation was sufficient and that a defence of public interest will often fail to stand up against injunctions preventing the publication of celebrities’ private information.

See the full post here…