Friday, October 09, 2009

What is protecting the city of London?

Censorship, is one thing. We've blogged on several occasions about Britain's libel laws, "a sedition law, for the exclusive use of millionaires." 

Now this, from the first inside page of the latest Private Eye.

" Last month, a certain institution obtained a high court injunction to prevent a certain newspaper from publishing a certain document. More than that we cannot say; to do so is fraught with danger. . .

The new breed of super-injunction is far more oppressive than the traditional court order under which a newspapaer or TV channel is (perhaps temporarily) prevented from publishing a particular allegation. It usually includes and order that “the publication of all information relating to these proceedings or of information describing them or the intended claim is expressly prohibited.”

Try this, too, in this recent Guardian story, entitled "Sorry, we can't tell you. And we can't tell you that we can't."

"There are indications though, that these once rare weapons are becoming a more regular feature of the legal battlefield . . . The Guardian, for instance, has been served with at least 12 notices of injunctions that could not be reported so far this year, compared with six in the whole of 2006 and five in 2005."

And who is using these super-injunctions?

"More alarming still is the fact that corporations, with motives centred more on their brand and reputation than personal disaster, are invoking these orders, gagging others from saying they have been gagged, let alone whatever they initially wanted to speak out about."

The City of London has its protectors, and the British legal system, unique in the world, is one of its most powerful. Back to Private Eye again:

"In one recent application for a super-injunction, the QC for the claimants explained to the judge why a newspaper must not only be stopped from publishing its story, but also banned from alluding to the gagging order: if it was allowed to report the injunction, it would probably run a piece accusing his clients of trying to muzzle the press.

Which, of course, is precisely what they were doing. The super-injunction was duly granted."


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