Judicial committee to examine super-injunctions

Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, has established a committee of lawyers from newspaper groups, leading London firms and members of the judiciary to examine the use of so called “super-injunctions” to gag the press.

The Judiciary of England and Wales said this morning the move had been prompted by a published in February by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee which was highly critical of the use of injunctions which prevented reporting of a story and of the existence of the injunction itself.

Oil company Trafigura and its law firm Carter-Ruck caused public outcry in October when it emerged they had unsuccessfully attempted to use a wide-ranging gagging order to prevent The Guardian reporting a Parliamentary question relating to the oil firm.

The new committee, which will be chaired by the Master of the Rolls, includes Marcus Partington, group legal director of Trinity Mirror, and Gillian Phillips, director of Guardian News and Media editorial legal services, alongside figures from law firms which have made use of the injunctions such as Carter-Ruck and Schillings.

The newly-established committee, which will meet for the first time on 4 May, follows justice secretary Jack Straw launching a consultation last year with lawyers from major newspapers over super-injunctions following the row over Carter Ruck using an injunction to apparently stop The Guardian from reporting a question asked in the House of Commons about the law firm Trafigura.

Committee members are:

  • Master of the Rolls (Chairman)
  • Lord Justice Moore-Bick
  • Mr Justice Tugenhadt
  • Desmond Browne QC
  • Alisdair Pepper (Carter-Ruck)
  • Rod Christie-Miller (Schillings)
  • Marcus Partington (Trinity Mirror)
  • Gill Phillips (Guardian News & Media)
  • Michelle Dyson (Ministry of Justice)
  • John Sorabji (Legal Secretary to the Master of the Rolls)

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