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    Monday, 16 November 2009

    Anathema to democracy? the PCC on super-injunctions and more

    In what has been described as a disappointing speech, Baroness Peta Buscombe - the newish Chair of the PCC - has railed against the deployment of so-called 'super-injunctions', describing them as 'anathema to democracy' and asking 'how did it ever come to this'? (1, 2) It is an easy target, but this broad-brush critique seems to overlook two important things. First, that sometimes such injunctions are necessary to protect against the infringement of competing rights. It is the over-free, insufficiently discriminate use of super-injunctions that is the problem not their availability per se. Secondly, she overlooks the fact that it was Parliamentary intervention in the form of the Human Rights Act that has provided the weight behind arguments to persuade the courts of the need for restrictions on speech in some cases.

    A transcript of the speech is available on the PCC website.

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