Guardian Gagged

According to the Guardian they have been prevented from reporting on a story concerning a question that is going to be asked in Parliament this week. They say:

The only fact the Guardian can report is that the case involves the London solicitors Carter-Ruck, who specialise in suing the media for clients, who include individuals or global corporations.

According to Guido Fawkes at Order-Order, this falls foul of the 1689 Bill of Rights. According to Wikipedia, the right is:

Freedom of speech and debates; or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament.

As the Guardian says:

The right to report parliament was the subject of many struggles in the 18th century, with the MP and journalist John Wilkes fighting every authority – up to the king – over the right to keep the public informed. After Wilkes’s battle, wrote the historian Robert Hargreaves, “it gradually became accepted that the public had a constitutional right to know what their elected representatives were up to”.

Accordingly, the UK Parliament site shows what appears to be the question in question.

Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): 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.

Yes, a gagging order really works when the government website publishes the story, It just makes me want to know what else the Guardian know

Update: Here’s the Minton Report (pdf) that Carter-Ruck don’t appear to like people seeing. It’s on Wikileaks

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