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Super-injunction review ordered

John Terry
A super-injunction to protect John Terry's privacy was lifted

A major review of the use of super-injunctions to gag the media has been ordered, it has been announced.

A committee of senior judges, newspaper group representatives and libel lawyers will look at the issue and meet for the first time on 4 May.

An injunction granted to Swiss firm Trafigura seemed to restrict comments in parliament and footballer John Terry had one which was later repealed.

MPs have expressed fears that their freedom to speak is being restricted.

Super-injunctions are highly secret injunctions where the press cannot even refer to the fact that an injunction has been granted.

In a report published in February, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee of MPs expressed "grave concern" about parliamentary freedom of speech.

The committee called for new laws to clarify the limits on the use of super-injunctions against comments made in Parliament.

'Fundamental principle'

The committee conducting the review into the use of super-injunctions will be chaired by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger.

A Judicial Communications Office spokesman said the committee would "examine the issues around the use of injunctions which bind the press and so-called 'super-injunctions'".

"This follows the recent report by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee's report on press standards, privacy and libel and concerns expressed to the judiciary," he added.

Last year the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, said it was a "fundamental principle" that MPs should be able to speak freely in Parliament.

He said: "The absolute privilege for members to speak freely in Parliament did not come without a price and previous generations fought, and indeed died, for it.

"It is a very precious heritage which, in my view, should be vigorously maintained and defended by this generation."

The super-injunction granted to Terry, the former England football captain, prevented the reporting allegations about his private life.

In the case of oil trading company Trafigura the super-injunction concerned leaked documents relating to the disposal of waste in the Ivory Coast.



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