May 212011
 
 May 21, 2011  Court, Non-U.S.

Former UK MP Paul Marsden comments on the superinjunction flap in the news these days. His perspective is interesting as not only has he been hounded by media/press at times, but he also reminds us that perhaps the courts are over-reaching:

[…]

However, the use of super injunctions does cause real concern. There is little doubt that only those who are rich and famous can afford to go to court and seek such overbearing and prescriptive orders. The argument that they are the only kinds of people who need them and Mrs Smith from Burnley who is a clerk in an office would never need one is not the point. Mrs Smith should not be told that some parts of the law are off limits and that she had better pray that she doesn’t need to get a super injunction because she can’t afford one, is a dangerous precedent for a law that should be blind to who you are and the size of your wallet or purse. No, it would be better that parliament set the rules on privacy vs public interest rather than judges listening to super rich lawyers earning six figure salaries on behalf of rich people earning seven or eight figure salaries.

Lord Neuberger’s recent report on this issue seems to conclude that parliamentarians should be gagged by taking away their privilege to report any issue. That is a scary statement from a senior judge who is Master of the Rolls. MPs rarely use such privilege and understand the responsibility of using it. However, the fact a judge wishes to stop MPs openly challenging the courts demonstrates that it is the courts that need to be reminded that it is parliament who is the sovereign body in this country and not judges.

Read more on Paul Marsden.

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