Today the Lord Chief Justice announce the investigation into how the so called “super-injunctions” are regulated and what their restrictions are. Specifically it was announce that super-injunctions should only be allowed “when they are strictly necessary”. This to me seems to be a great idea. However what exactly is a “strictly necessary” case. Would it be a married person having an affair? A prostitute trying to sell a kiss and tell story? Maybe it should actually be introduced that the super-injunctions or anonymised injunctions should really be the preserve of those who require the story to be kept quiet for the safety of themselves and others, not so a wife doesn’t find out you have been playing hide the sausage.
Lord Chief Justice did however announce that the media will be allowed access to the super-injunction hearings, meaning journalists will be allowed access to the full case. There is no specific definition to who the media are, it could include bloggers and tweeters. He then did say that the rules could not really be enforced to the internet and it didn’t matter as “mainstream media” had a more widespread and trusted audience. So in essence he announce that a journalist could have access to the case and could then report theoretically on an overseas blog and not face the force of the law.
The biggest issue here is also not just the UK law, they also have to adhere to the law set by the European Courts of Human Rights in Strasbourg, that old sticking point. We will have to see what happens with Government and whether they will take the report seriously and maybe even look at a possible change in law to a more sensible position. Those who have tried to discuss this in the Houses of Parliament were also informed by the Lord Chief Justice “But you do need to think whether it’s a good idea for our law makers to be flouting a court order just because they disagree with a court order or they disagree with the privacy law created by Parliament.” How exactly would the law makers be able to discuss changes in the law if they can’t use examples of how the existing law is being used??
I doubt many people have had difficulties finding most of the super-injunctions that have been imposed simply by using twitter hashtag of #superinjunction and it seems the report shows that this aspect of reporting is fine, just not for mainstream media. I disagree entirely when the super-injunctions have no place with the specific cases.