Hidden High Court Injuctions

The Twitter vs Trafigura case continues though it really is the Guardian newspaper and Wikileaks who have been driving this amazing story that illustrates the total lack of freedom of expression granted to the citizens of Britain.

For those who haven’t been following the case: The Guardian was attempting to report on Trafigura, a multi-national oil and commodity trader, but received legal threats from Carter-Ruck. This led to an injunction stopping them from publishing their findings. Yet not only were they prevented from publishing their article but the injunction also prevented them from reporting about the injunction!

These ‘superinjunctions’ are an incredibly draconian power and in a strong democracy they would only be used as a last resort in the most limited of circumstances – and when used this would be public knowledge. However, it now transpires that not only are these injunctions granted by judges with seemingly not a second thought for open justice, but there is no record of the judge’s actions either.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Bridget Prentice said yesterday, in answer to a written Parliamentary question that the information is not currently available and the High Court has no intention to collate such data:

Paul Farrelly MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will (a) collect and (b) publish statistics on the number of non-reportable injunctions issued by the High Court in each of the last five years. [293012]

Bridget Prentice: The information requested is not available. The High Court collects figures on applications, however injunctions are not separately identifiable, and there are currently no plans to amend databases to do so.

I agree with wikileaks: “Time for UK journalists grow some balls and start violating censorship injunctions”

It is bad enough that superinjunctions exist at all, but it is absolutely appalling that there are not even records kept of how often they are used. Pressure needs to be put on the High Court to record these occasions, and make the details public as a matter of urgency.

6 Responses to “Hidden High Court Injuctions”

  1. In fairness most people due to 35years of inept British Government dont have the money or connections to do what you do, but we here at Levellers Party do thank you for what you do & the likes of Guardian, Private Eye, Observer,the sad thing in all this is the original Levellers Party who we adhere to many of their founding principles dint get what Britain need then as now, elected Judges, & tighter controls over how big bizz operates in Parliament/Lords.

    This of course is a shame because if they did, there would not be the atrocities that went on under the Brit Empire & now with Trafigura & the Canadian Oil tar Sands, plus Indian Bauxite Mining. yours
    Miss P Z Realm Levellers Party.

  2. brianlj says:

    When you say, “there is no record of the judge’s actions” that’s not strictly true…

    In Wikipedia’s entry on Trafigura, they mention that the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation have published both the Minton Report & the gagging order on the Guardian.

    http://www.nrk.no/contentfile/file/1.6780930!The_Guardian_kjennelse.pdf

  3. John L Bell says:

    As a taxpaying citizen, one is tempted to ask three questions;
    1). Who are the individual judges in this country who are part of this disgrace?
    2). Has anyone checked to see if any dodgy bank accounts (onshore and offshore) have been plumped up of late?
    3). How do I know that the judges involved are not crooked if I do not know what their actions ARE and what OVERSIGHT over their actions is in place!

    Do these conditions smell something like the odour of secrecy traditionally surrounding MPs and their actions?….. and we all know what that secrecy was concealing?

  4. Laurence says:

    I hope somebody, other than Nick Griffin, puts this to (Justice Minster) Jack Straw next Thursday on Question Time.

  5. Demetrius says:

    The present system is all to like the denunciations common in dictatorial regimes. My bet is that there is another that is a real nasty, if I am right, and posted on 17 Oct under “Isle of Man etc.”

  6. Paul Dettman says:

    I think the reporting of this generally would be fairer if it acknowledged the role of Private Eye. They decided to publish the text of Mr Farrelly’s questions back when the Guardian was still being lily-livered and too afraid to do so. Furthermore, the MP’s questions specifically mentioned a case involving Pressdram (a.k.a Private Eye).

    http://private-eye.co.uk/sections.php?section_link=street_of_shame&issue=1247

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