Guardian claims access victory

By Jean Morgan

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has claimed that the newspaper’s successful challenge to a blanket ban on access to the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT) is a significant victory for open justice.

The Guardian joined with civil rights group Liberty to overturn the ban which prevented public access to the tribunal that investigates complaints of unlawful phone tapping and invasive surveillance.

Up until last week, when the ban was lifted, all hearings of the IPT had been held in complete secrecy, even for sessions involving legal argument where there was no threat of national security being compromised.

The tribunal’s judgment that some public access would be permitted in future was reported as an important victory for media organisations and civil rights campaigners.

Rusbridger said: “It is a significant victory for all those who campaign for open justice, freedom of expression and the right to a fair trail.

“Our challenge in this instance has been totally vindicated and is a major step forward for freedom of information.”

Jean Morgan

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