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Nick Cohen
Tuesday 13th October 2009
Guardian Gagged from Reporting Parliament (And to hell with the Bill of Rights)

 The Guardian says this morning that it  "has been prevented from reporting parliamentary proceedings on legal grounds which appear to call into question privileges guaranteeing free speech established under the 1688 Bill of Rights."Guido points to this question on the Commons order paper and wonders if it is the source of the trouble

    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.

 Surely it can't be. For what English judge would dare issue an order banning the reporting of a legitimate question by an elected representative?

 

 
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About Nick Cohen

Nick Cohen is a columnist for the Observer and author of You Can't Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom (Fourth Estate) and What's Left? How The Left Lost Its Way (Harper Perennial). Living With Lies, a collection of his writing for Standpoint, is available as an ebook. 

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