Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The law of unintended consequences.

I would never have heard of Trafigura, nor would I have thought it such a big deal, I might have even skimmed over the report not even noticing it was there. But thanks to Carter Ruck and an attempt to gag the Grauniad, but who forgot the political reporting  blogs. This is the question the Guardian was gagged from reporting:
Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation to protect (a) whistleblowers and (b) press freedom following the injunctions obtained in the High Court by (i) Barclays and Freshfields solicitors on 19 March 2009 on the publication of internal Barclays reports documenting alleged tax avoidance schemes and (ii) Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors on 11 September 2009 on the publication of the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura.
Most people I suspect would not have been even remotely interested (save in certain specialist fields) but the minute you attempt to gag someone, people automatically want to know why. So when Trafigura look at the bill from Carter Ruck I suspect it's going to be sliced and diced to check for value for money. After all, the 'Streisand Effect' is very well known.
Mind you Carter Ruck do have form in banning orders, it's something they specialise in have they've become expert at pressing certain legal buttons and the failure of some  judges to understand the nature of this affront to democracy and press freedom in this country is the underlying problem.
In March media specialists Carter-Ruck obtained a legal injunction to protect pop star Lily Allen from harassment by Big Pictures and rival agency Matrix Photos. Carter-Ruck also obtained an injunction "restraining further harassment" by other paparazzi photographers in a case which was presented to the high court by barrister David Sherborne, who also represented Winehouse.
Still it's nice to know that as yet they can't get around the freedom of the internet, but I'm sure they're still looking at it.

4 annotations:

Fausty said...

The US and Brown have been seeking ways to gag bloggers for years. Their use of terror legislation being their most likely course of action.

It'd be difficult to link this case with terrorism, but I bet someone will try!

James Higham said...

Jams ran a few posts on this company a couple of weeks back, largely ignored by people. He described them then as vermin.

Quiet_Man said...

Trafigura or Carter-Ruck? Both haven't exactly got a great reputation out here, though Carter-Ruck are by far the more infamous.

Sue said...

I would never have heard of Trafigura, nor would I have thought it such a big deal, I might have even skimmed over the report not even noticing it was there. But thanks to Carter Ruck and an attempt to gag the Grauniad, but who forgot the political reporting blogs.

Me neither, but we won this one!!!