When the case of a mother accused of killing her son opens later this month at the Central Criminal Court, reporters will be free to publish the name of the defendant -and of the boy she allegedly poisoned. As they file their copy from what is likely to be a highly emotive and high-profile trial, they should remember to thank the Romford Recorder .
The Archant weekly began the fight to be able to name the woman when lawyers representing her other, surviving son, won an injunction designed to protect him which would have meant she remained anonymous.
But with costs mounting as the legal arguments progressed through the courts, the Recorder was unable to continue its battle.
Fortunately, the big guns from the national scene, Associated, News International and Mirror Group, took up the cudgels.
The victory is a boost for open justice. Equally importantly, Lord Steyn’s recognition in his final judgment of the importance of the regional press will be stored away by every editor for use when such cases arise the next time.
“If local newspapers are threatened with the prospect of an injunction such as is now under consideration, it is likely that they will often be silenced… If permitted, it would seriously impoverish public discussion of criminal justice.”