“Should the court buckle every time one of its orders meets widespread disobedience or defiance? In a democratic society, if a law is deemed to be unenforceable or unpopular, it is for the legislature to make such changes as it decides are appropriate.”
Mr Justice Eady
Well…..after 75,000 unpaid ‘reportertweeters’ for The Sun et al.. managed to effectively break an injunction on Twitter and, thereby, commit technical contempts of court, John Hemming MP took what he clearly believes to be a principled stand, by naming the footballer.
This battle between the Press, Parliament and the judiciary will now move, inevitably, to a close focus with Parliament setting up a new committee. Eady J was right. If a law is unpopular or unenforceable, it is up to Parliament to act – for without the rule of law, we may as well have mob rule on twitter. I return to an old theme….. 50 million flies enjoy eating shit and believe it to be right to do so. As it happens, I am not that keen on shit…. so, hopefully, Parliament will now act to clarify (a) the balance between privacy and freedom of speech through ‘guidelines’ or (b) draft a clear law of privacy (c) examine whether injunctions of any sort are an appropriate remedy and (d) re-establish credibility and acceptability in this field (and the separate field of libel) for the law.
A few articles for you to read… if you are not ‘superinjuncted / injuncted out’:
LoveandGarbage: What should CTB have done to protect his position in Scotland?
Lallands Peat Worrier: “If such be the law of England…” #superinjunction
UK Human Rights blog: MP has “revealed” footballer’s name, but is it safe to repeat it?
David Allen Green: The weekend Twitter mocked the English Courts
Carl Gardner at Head of Legal: Hemming does his worst
The Panopticon Blog from 11 KBW: SOME REFLECTIONS ON SUPER-INJUNCTIONS AND PARALLEL UNIVERSES
I gather that Mr Justice Eady did not reconvene the court. I asked on twitter.. the font of all wisdom… and was told that Mr Justice Eady was on a train. I can’t say I blame him!
Meanwhile…NOT KEENLY reported in The Sun (or any other Murdoch meedja outlets as yet?)….. this great news…
Phonehacking: Prescott stuns Westminster by winning judicial review
Politics.co.uk: John Prescott stunned the political world today by winning a judicial review into the police investigation into phone hacking.
The decision means that the Met’s handling of the investigation will now come firmly under the spotlight.
Lord Prescott, Labour MP Chris Bryant, former deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick and journalist Brendan Montague argued that the Met had failed to properly brief them on the evidence in their possession concerning what had happened to their phones.
A high court judge said they had “an arguable case for seeking the relief claimed by way of judicial review”.
Perhaps this issue will be more difficult for The News of The World and sister meedja outlets to ignore and sweep under the table. Superinjunction anyone?
The death of blogging? Not for #lawblogs
Siobhain Butterworth in The Guardian: A recent panel event shows legal blogging is growing to fill the gap left by newspapers…
Good article and great to see coverage for law bloggers in a leading newspaper. I thought my mention in the blogroll was ‘very accurate reporting’ as to rioja quaffing / chain smoking…. at any event.
AND… I JUST HAVE TO… let you see this excellent blog post from John Bolch….. *Be Careful*… It contains Hemmings
I shall end the day with this tweet…… it has been.. truly astonishing… and lawyers (and, hopefully, many others) know why?