UK PRIME MINISTER "UNEASY" OVER USE OF INJUNCTIONS TO GAG !!

DAY 3610: THURSDAY 21ST APRIL 2011.

Methinks the Bullingdon toff (and for that matter the "press") doth talk tosh (in the article below)

Because of course the government - and - press have absolutely no problem with the use of injunctions to send the people to prison for freedom of expression.


& for those in the know, i guess it's called product placement :)


David Cameron 'uneasy' about creeping use of injunctions to gag press

David Cameron has said he feels 'uneasy' about judges increasingly using super-injunctions to create privacy law in Britain. David Cameron has voiced his concern at the increasing use of injunctions

PA 2:51PM BST 21 Apr 2011

His comments follow a number of recent injunctions which have prevented the press from reporting the identification of celebrities. Mr Cameron said it should be up to Parliament not judges to decide the extent of press freedom and said recent judgements had left him feeling 'a little uneasy.'

On Wednesday, High Court judge Mr Justice Eady agreed to issue a "contra mundum" order - effectively a worldwide ban - in the case of a man who sought to prevent publication of material about his private life.

Such orders were previously used to stop the publication of details about the killers of James Bulger, when a court ruled that there was a "strong possibility" that their lives would be at risk if they were identified. It is thought to be the first time such an order has been issued in a privacy case.

Today the Law Society said the rise in the use of injunctions by the rich and famous to protect their privacy ''needs to be watched very closely." Mark Stobbs, the Law Society's director of legal policy, said: ''This is a new development and it is something which needs to be watched very closely.

''There is a huge debate between the right to privacy and the right to public knowledge. ''This is something that we are looking at quite closely.'' A working party has been set up to look at defamation laws and related issues, he said. ''We support open justice and transparency as a basic principle but there must be occasional cases where there is a public interest in privacy,'' he said. ''You might get it sometimes in the context of terrorist trials where there are real national security implications.

There may be some cases of privacy where the damage done by spurious allegations to the individual is substantial - mud sticks.'' Law firm Carter Ruck, which has been behind many of the attempts to gag the press, said its clients were playing a risky game in applying for the court orders. And the majority of those appealing for media blackouts on the subject of their indiscretions are ''probably people you and I have never heard of'', managing partner Cameron Doley said. ''The rich and famous can't pay their way out of scandal. These things are high-risk,'' he said. ''It's not just the rich and famous and the law shouldn't be for the rich and famous. The protection of privacy is perhaps more important to genuinely private people.''

His comments came the day after a married Premier League footballer who reportedly had an affair with Big Brother's Imogen Thomas won the right to continue his anonymity. The lastest 'contra mundum' decision marks yet another step in the move by the courts to extend protections for the right to respect for privacy and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

But it also marks a further advance in the steps the courts are prepared to take in restricting the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the Convention. A contra mundum order is intended to apply forever, and it applies to all those who might come to know of it - as opposed to forbidding the publication of details by a specific newspaper or journalist.

The cost of obtaining an order varies but can run into the low tens of thousands of pounds, Mr Doley said. "It's not something that the man on the street can do without any thought," he admitted. "These things are still few and far between. There was a rash of them yesterday but they're still comparatively rare.

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming has voiced concern over the process, pointing out that if the gagged party wishes to contest an order they risk incurring a large cost. "It's a very unbalanced system won by the force of money and not by the force of arguments," he said. "The system is weighted in favour of those with the money. "I'm not a big fan of kiss-and-tell but (I'm not in favour of) 'if you tell you go to jail'."

PR guru Max Clifford said he was of a similar mind, hitting out at the use of injunctions by wealthy public figures. Clifford, who is representing Ms Thomas, said: "The privacy of the rich and famous seems to be exactly what the courts are determined to achieve. "What we've got in this country now is a privacy law that wasn't brought in by Parliament but the judges have decided what they want and that's what they've achieved. "Sometimes the privacy of the rich and famous - or anyone - does deserve to be protected but only the rich can afford this, so it's purely a law to protect the rich and in a democracy that's not right."

" In a time of universal deceit, the people telling the truth is an evolutionary act."

 

(adapted from George Orwell)