|||| we can’t print ||||||| of |||||||||||||||| (A report on Super Injunctions)

In recent weeks and months, a relatively unused legal implement has been making headlines for protecting the private lives of the rich and famous from media intrusion. The Super injunction as its known, allows anyone with enough money, to ask a court to stop the media from reporting details of a particular issue and importantly also stops those media outlets from reporting that they can’t report it. In essence, it offers complete secrecy for that individual.

The only way around a super injunction, exploited by Have I Got News For You, is to get an MP to report the injunction in the House of Commons. You can then report that an MP has said it in a debate, which they are allowed to do, although this is legally dubious territory (as HIGNIFY later proved, by blanking out the specifics of the case discussed). The media are otherwise prohibited from reporting the existence of these injunctions.

These injunctions hit the headlines yet again when Andrew Marr, a BBC television presenter, announced that he’d had an injunction taken out in 2008, to halt reporting of an affair he was having, effectively removing the super injunction and its effects.

Social media has also created havoc for super injunctions (as well as Hyper Injunctions – effectively removing the caveat that allows MP’s to discuss or raise the matter). Twitter has been awash with potential names and stories that are believed to be covered by injunctions, although of course to prove or disprove any of these would require breaking the terms of any super injunctions. Prosecutors argue that the same rules apply to those publishing content on social media – even though many try to remain anonymous. But tracking authors of these accusations, lest trying to censor the internet, is well beyond the current remit of current legislation and any plans to change this is likely to create a massive controversy, both from liberty campaigners, as well as the internet using public at large.