Blinkered arrogance and a judiciary in danger of losing the public’s confidence

This article by Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail is on the spot:

There is a world of secret justice in this country, with judges handing out injunctions prohibiting the media from reporting a huge number of cases, many of which may concern much more important issues than that involving Mr Giggs.

Some 264 orders related to children or supposedly vulnerable adults, most of which were issued in the highly secretive family courts, whose proceedings for the most part cannot be reported by the media.

God alone knows the miscarriages of justices or questionable rulings that may have taken place in these courts. The public certainly doesn’t.

It was in these family courts that judges first dreamt up super-injunctions before they spread to straightforward privacy cases.

There have been some 28 of these over the past five years given to men who had extra-marital affairs, with erring footballers making up a sizeable contingent. Others include actors and a smattering of public figures.

And here’s the basis in law:

Parliament incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into British law. Whereas Article Eight protects people’s privacy, Article Ten safeguards freedom of expression.

The judiciary has tended to place more weight on Article Eight than Article Ten. It has chosen to develop a principle of privacy in a way that reflects its particular prejudices and values.

A little humility, and some more self-awareness on the part of the judiciary, seems in order. And yet we are getting the opposite. 

The judges are in danger of overreaching themselves.

The ten-strong committee which produced the report on super-injunctions was entirely comprised of judges and lawyers. One lawyer works for Carter Ruck, another for Schillings — predatory, combative firms at the forefront of moves for ever greater secrecy.

No one seems to have thought of asking a mere journalist, or perhaps an expert on social media like Twitter, to sit on this committee. Isn’t this further proof of the arrogance and blinkered character of the higher judiciary?

About Sabine Kurjo McNeill

I'm a mathematician and system analyst formerly at CERN in Geneva and became an event organiser, software designer, independent web publisher and online promoter of Open Justice. My most significant scientific contribution is now a solution to the Prime Number problem:
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3 Responses to Blinkered arrogance and a judiciary in danger of losing the public’s confidence

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