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Has there not been a thread about this? Law firm attempt to gag parliament

(20 Posts)
edam Sat 17-Oct-09 09:45:27

astounding that a law firm tried to suppress reporting of parliament. An affront to democracy - their lawyers know perfectly well that parliamentary business is privileged so can be freely reported. As does the judge - how on earth did whoever it was who issued the injunction get the law and the whole ruddy constitution so very wrong?

IMO judge should be sacked and Carter-Fuck reprimanded by the Law Society.

Artichokes Sat 17-Oct-09 10:09:33

It was a bit less sensational than was reported. The original injunction on the Guardian was put in place before the parliamentary question was tabled. There was no anticipation of the parliamentary angle and the injunction covered any mention or implication of Trasfigura. So it wasn't written to gag reporting of parliament. The Guardian then got an MP (old employee) to ask the qu so they could get round the injuction by citing privilege and freedom to report parliament. It was a clever move and hence the story broke.

There is in fact a case to say parliament should never have allowed the MP to table the question as it referred to an active proceeding before a court. Parliament has a sub judice rule which wld normally prevent interference in active cases.

edam Sat 17-Oct-09 13:19:44

That's not entirely true, Artichokes. Carter Ruck warned the Guardian that reporting the parliamentary question would be in breach of the injunction.

Appalling that this firm of shysters tried to prevent reporting of parliament. As well as ridiculous - it was in Hansard and on parliament's website.

smallwhitecat Sat 17-Oct-09 15:37:15

Message withdrawn

KittyCorncrake Sat 17-Oct-09 17:57:49

An amusing article here about a twitter-incited flash mob dempostrating peacefully ( and quietly as symobolically gagged grin) out side the CR offices

policywonk Sat 17-Oct-09 18:04:01

There was so a thread! here - bit cryptic at the start because it was before carter fuck caved in.

policywonk Sat 17-Oct-09 18:05:57

Hasn't Peter Bottomley said he's going to complain to the Law Society?

edam's right - CF's goons told the Guardian it would be regarded as contempt of court if the G reported the parliamentary question. Whether that would have stood up in court or not, it's fucking outrageous that they tried to bully the press into not reporting it.

bumbling Sat 17-Oct-09 18:06:32

Carter Fuck and these super injunctions are hated by all the press and have been for some time. They're all going to support The Grauniad as much as poss because they're all being stuffed by it. And other law firms too. CF have got way too big for their boots and Fleet St is gagging to get them back...

policywonk Sat 17-Oct-09 18:17:35

bumley's on the case

The guardian wer advised not to publish by a senior QC according to this report. Carter Fuck is trying to close down next week's Parliamentary debate (called by EVAN HARRIS, artichokes wink) on grounds of sub judice; Bercow last week announced that he doesn't believe the proceedings are governed by the HoC's sub judice rules.

And you know, even if the whole thing was a clever set up by Rusbridger - fucking good on him. Really. Give that man a knighthood (he'd probably turn it down I suppose). What a brilliant way to draw attention to the squalid behaviour of a leading law firm and oil company.

squeaver Sat 17-Oct-09 18:26:17

I started a thread on Monday or Tuesday but no-one cared.



smallwhitecat Sat 17-Oct-09 18:34:32

Message withdrawn

policywonk Sat 17-Oct-09 19:03:00

I didn't know that that was its reputation, swc - but its own website kicks off with the headline 'leading law firm... recognised at the UK's pre-eminent media law practice'. Are you saying that the super-injunction trend is mostly down to Carter Fuck?

snort at its 'recent news' page

policywonk Sat 17-Oct-09 19:05:44

Isn't CF himself dead? Obtaining wide-ranging injunctions from beyond the grave would indeed be impressive grin

Artichokes Sat 17-Oct-09 21:01:49

I agree it was ingenious of Rusbridger to engineer the parliamentary angle, I wasn't meaning to critisize him for it.

The Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee were already in the middle of investigating super injunctions and Rusbeidger added extra evidence this week. It's all on their website and v interesting.

johnhemming Sun 18-Oct-09 10:46:42

Super Injunctions clearly contravene Article 6. The discussion is about sub judice and whether this matter is trapped by the parliameentary rule of sub judice. It probably is, but the speaker can still allow the debate. The courts cannot prevent this.

As far as not reporting parliament there are things that I have tabled in parliament that newspapers lawyers have indicated that they cannot report.

That is a different issue. It is not clear as to whether the courts can prevent parliament being reported. Article IX of the 1688 Bill of Rights only applies to hansard (including the parliamentary website).

edam Sun 18-Oct-09 10:49:09

Getting a friendly MP to ask a question is an old trick, pre-dating the one-man-band development of privacy law by Justice Eady. But valid.

edam Sun 18-Oct-09 10:51:34

What's the reason for lawyers saying they can't report motions you have tabled, JH?

Given we elect MPs to represent us and meet all the costs of parliament, I think it's appalling that there is any restriction on reporting at all. We are entitled to know everything that is done in our name in a democracy - seems pretty darn fundamental to me.

policywonk Sun 18-Oct-09 14:13:44

OOh, JH is actually an MP! How exciting!

johnhemming Sun 18-Oct-09 14:19:13

edam it was The Times' lawyers that said they could not print how to find one of my EDMs which referred to a prisoner whose name could not be revealed. He was jailed for 14 months for driving his pregnant wife to the coast together with her then I think 7 year old son who has just escaped from care.

Much like Angela Wileman's case, but with extra gagging power.

edam Mon 19-Oct-09 18:46:20

Bloody lawyers. When I was a consumer mag ed, ours always wanted us to put in lots of qualifying words like 'may'. I had to point out that our readers were actually paying us to go and find stuff out and if we weren't confident in what we were saying, we wouldn't be writing it in the first place!

Anyway, I see that instead of having some sense of shame, or even recognising the PR disaster their heavy-handed tactics have created, Carter-Ruck have gone on to try to stop parliament holding a debate on the principle of freedom to report parliament... thank heavens for a speaker who stands up for democracy. Can't imagine that happening under 'who me, no, I never let the cops in' Michael Martin.

Charlie Brooker is very funny about the whole thing here.

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