MP LAUNCHES PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY INTO INJUNCTIONS
NEW TYPE OF INJUNCTION FOUND AGAINST INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM
John Hemming MP, who is campaigning against excessive and unlawful court secrecy, haslaunched an inquiry in parliament into the growing numbers of gagging orders."I will be collecting a range of different gagging orders," he said, "and then analysing andsorting them into different categories. I will then produce a number of parliamentarypetitions summarising the details and pass them to the Justice Select Committee for furtherinvestigation.""What is clear," he said, "is that almost all of the super and hyper injunctions have no public judgment. That means that they are not compliant with the rules for a fair trial. There is alsothe question as to whether there should be an automatic time limit on an interim order.Many cases have an interim order and no final hearing. This is clearly wrong. We also needto know what the costs are both for the applicant and for the media in defending theseorders. It is wrong to have a system whereby people can buy the sort of justice they want.That is a contravention of Clause 29 of Magna Carta 1297i (which is still in force).""A good example of an injunction that is handled properly is that relating to ZAM andCFW/TFWii. This is accompanied by a published judgment. However, what is not in thepublished judgment is the amount of costs awarded although the fact of the awarding of costs is in the judgment. The judgment should reveal the amount of costs as well."
New type of injunction - the Quaero Injunction
Mr Hemming has also revealed a new type of injunction against investigative journalism. "Ihave recently seen a gagging order that prevents people seeking information about a casefrom the parties. This goes a step further than preventing people speaking out againstinjustice. It also puts any investigative journalist at risk if they ask any questions of a victimof a potential miscarriage of justice."I call this the Quaero Injunction, after the Latin work "to seek". I don't think this should beallowed in English courts. It has the effect of preventing journalists from speaking to peoplesubject to this injunction without a risk of the journalist going to jail. That is a recipe forhiding miscarriages of justice.""Anyone who has a gagging injunction that they would like to go into this proceeding inparliament should post it to me at John Hemming MP, House of Commons, London SW1
0AA. I am happy to receive copies of injunctions by email”