The Press Association has launched a service to make journalists
aware of any injunctions made in the High Court Family Division.
move follows the issue of a Practice Direction by Dame Elizabeth
Butler-Sloss, who stepped down as President of the Family Division on 6
April. It states that anyone who wants to apply in the Family Division
for a media gagging injunction should use the new service to give
notice before an order is made so that editors have the chance to
Newspapers have previously been hit with injunctions without being given notice of an application.
National newspapers and major broadcasters are among those subscribing to the new system.
the system only involves Family Division cases – usually involving the
identification of children or hospital patients – it may in future be
extended to cover injunctions issued by the Queen’s Bench Division of
the High Court.
These would include injunctions issued on privacy and breach of confidence matters.
new move takes into account Section 12 of the Human Rights Act 1998
which says a court should not issue a gagging injunction unless the
applicant has taken all practicable steps to notify those who should be
told or there are compelling reasons why they should not be notified.