Guardian injuction: Judge says he considered Human Rights Act

The Guardian is still forbidden by the terms of the existing injunction, granted by a vacation duty judge, Mr Justice Maddison, to give further information about the Minton report, or its contents. So, the ability to report Parliament is a small victory.

For any journalist reading the terms of that super-gagging order is frightening. It should be for anyone who is interested in freedom. I was glad to see that the Guardian’s leader today mention John Wilkes who has been a hero of mine since I first heard about him in a school history lesson.

I knew most of what to expect in the injunction and what really shocks me is that Mr Justice Maddison states that he considered the provisions of section 12 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Clause 4 of this section reads:

The court must have particular regard to the importance of the Convention right to freedom of expression and, where the proceedings relate to material which the respondent claims, or which appears to the court, to be journalistic, literary or artistic material (or to conduct connected with such material), to—

(a) the extent to which—

(i) the material has, or is about to, become available to the public; or

(ii) it is, or would be, in the public interest for the material to be published;

The injunction is on a Norwegian site. Essential reading, as is the Minton report, available through Wikileaks from mirror sites around the world. Most of its content seems familiar but look at the date: so soon after the dumping of the toxic waste.

The cat is really out of the bag so far as this story is concerned. It is time for Trafigura to instruct Carter-Ruck to apply for the whole injunction to be lifted.

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