Monday, May 9, 2011

Is this the most absurd super-injunction ever?

by Sunny Hundal    
April 20, 2011 at 10:42 am

A British court of Protection has issued what is described as one of the most draconian super-injunctions ever.
The order involves a mother – referred to as ‘M’ – who is seeking court permission to let her brain-damaged daughter die.
The super-injunction covers media coverage of the ongoing case. The court order bans journalist communicating with M or any other member of her family: “whether orally in person, or by telephoning, text message, email or other means”.
The Court of Protection specifically bans all journalists from contacting 65 people or coming within 50m of four properties.
Flouting that ban risks being found guilty of contempt of court, which could mean a fine or prison.
But guess what? We don’t know who those people are or what properties the court refers to.
The Telegraph report says:
Legal experts said they had never seen the press restricted in such a way, in powers usually used to protect vulnerable women from ex-partners or keep animal rights protesters away from scientists.
It comes after growing concern at the use of privacy orders being obtained by the rich and famous in order to prevent details of their sex lives being published.
FleetStreetBlues blog is more straight-laced:
It’s a ridiculous, draconian ruling that makes a mockery of free speech. But without knowing who it is we’re not allowed to talk to or where it is we’re not allowed to go, it’s also literally impossible to uphold. Who’s making this stuff up?