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May 20, 2011

Committee reports on super-injunctions

Category: News

Committee chaired by Lord Neuberger MR publishes findings on superinjunctions, anonymity and open justice


The Committee on Super-Injunctions, chaired by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, has today published its Report on injunctions in privacy claims.

Key findings and recommendations include:

  • The justifiable concern about the ready granting of super-injunctions has been addressed, with such injunctions now being granted less often, for very short periods and only where strictly necessary.
  • Anonymised cases and orders, often wrongly labelled super-injunctions, have and should wherever possible be explained by a reasoned judgment.
  • The Committee has produced draft Guidance setting out the procedure to be followed when applying for injunctions to protect private or confidential information pending trial, which will enable the media to be informed about applications in advance.
  • Guidance on expedited appeals already exists but should be revised and updated.
  • Training for judges who hear applications for injunctions which may impact upon freedom of expression should continue.
  • The Ministry of Justice should collect data about super-injunctions and anonymised injunctions.
  • Reports of what is said in Parliament are only protected if published in good faith; the extent to which media reports of Parliamentary proceedings in breach of a court order might be protected is unclear.

Welcoming the report, Lord Judge, Lord Chief Justice, said that the report “will have a valuable practical effect on the way in which the courts deal with applications for injunctions based on alleged privacy rights.”

The only practising barrister member of the Committee was 5RB‘s joint head of chambers Desmond Browne QC. Other members included Lord Justice Moore-Bick and Mr Justice Tugendhat of the judiciary, and solicitors Rod Christie-Miller of Schillings, Marcus Partington, Group Legal Director at Trinity Mirror, Alasdair Pepper of Carter-Ruck and Gill Phillips, Director of Editorial Legal Services at The Guardian.

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