Suzanne Breen: Sources ruling sets important precedent

The journalist at the centre of a sources disclosure battle with Northern Irish police has said yesterday’s ruling in her favour sets an important precedent for all journalists.

Sunday Tribune northern editor Suzanne Breen said she hoped the judgment will discourage the police from using anti-terror legislation to try extracting confidential information from repoters.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland wanted information from Breen about her interviews with the Real IRA in connection with the murders of two British soldiers in March.

Belfast Recorder Tom Burgess said there was clear evidence that Breen’s life would be endangered if she gave up her source.

But he also said journalism as a whole would be undermined if the court ordered her to reveal the information.

Breen told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 this morning: “The principle of confidentiality and protecting sources was very firmly argued in court.

“The judge, in his judgment, does recognise the confidentiality for journalists and protection of sources under the 2000 Terrorism Act and under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

She added: “It’s a very very important judgment. I think and hope that it does set a precedent.”

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