Running out of words

by scotslawstudent

In the beginning there was the injunction but first, some patriotism.

The writ of the High Court is fairly powerful even in the place where we call them “interdicts” but it is an English court. However we also have the principle of there being some things you can’t say because a judge told you not to and because a lot of our news is effectively cross border anyway High Court injunctions do have an effect in Scotland. Your Glasgow office can’t really ignore your London head office very often.

Injunctions are not all bad and there are times that information is usefully concealed from public view (look at all the complaints about Wikileaks and apparently putting lives at risk), however they get a bad press because it doesn’t always work out like that. An injunction is good to have because other people can’t say what the bad thing is, so the privacy is preserved, but it lets people tap their nose and hint heavily that this injunction you got is because you’re up to no good, so you still suffer a loss of reputation because you spent time and money hiding something, even if we can’t say what that something is.

The loophole in an injunction is that you can paint around the edges of what the injunction covers to show that a person is a) deliberately hiding something and b) here is (roughly) what we can’t tell you.

So we got the super-injunction, which is where the fact of the injunction is also covered. These are controversial

The loophole in superinjunction seems to be taking advantage of Parliamentary privilege — you get an MP to raise the matter as Parliamentary business and the MP can’t be sued for breaking the court order and the matter is distinctly public record so you can report on it. This is fine as long as you have a friendly MP hanging around who knows about the superinjunction.

So, enter the hyper-injunction. This is a major step up again where a fact is prohibited from publication, the fact of the injunction is prohibited from publication and you, as an embargoed party, are prohibited from telling an MP about the injunction. An MP who doesn’t know can’t raise it as an issue.

There will be a work-around of some sort to this, I can’t think of one off hand but I’m only little, worked out in the future but it seems like an incredibly thorough way of blocking issues from public view.

H/T: CharonQC