Hidden High Court Injunctions: Twitter vs Trafigura

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.

(Via Your Right To Know.)

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