Carter-Ruck Caves-In:: Gag on The Guardian Is Lifted

Looks like the blogosphere and Twitter community proved the uselessness of the rubber-stamped gagging order preventing The Guardian from publishing details of a Parliamentary question about oil-trader Trafigura.

Guardian story here:

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UK Press Banned From Reporting Parliamentary Question – Be Afraid

A seemingly innocuous Parliamentary question tabled by Labour MP Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme) has led to legal repercussions for the UK news media as infamous law firm Carter-Ruck has secured an injunction preventing The Guardian from publishing:

a) the name of the MP who has asked the question (see above);

b) what the question is (see below);

c) which minister might answer it (Secretary of State for Justice jack Straw);

or d) where the question is to be found

The question that has caused the upset is:

“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.”

This action appears to call into question privileges guaranteeing free speech established under the 1688 Bill of Rights and reinforced by later Parliamentary decisions. Now that the full details of the question and the background to the story are circulating very widely on blogs, Twitter, other news websites (though not the BBC for some reason…) I hope the injunction is lifted very rapidly and Carter-Ruck are exposed for the rascals that they truly are.

Selection of fuller blog posts on the same theme:

and rather pathetically

A flash-mob is being organised outside Carter-Ruck’s offices on Thursday 15th October at 1pm:

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