“nor does it sit comfortably with the transparency expectations of a modern society”

As the BBC reports, in response to a written question from TUV leader, Jim Allister, MLA, the Northern Ireland Justice Minister, David Ford, has revealed that, in the last 4 years, there have been 4 ‘super-injunctions’ granted in Northern Ireland – that is, court orders made “prohibiting publicity on the granting of injunctive relief”.  From the BBC report

The North Antrim MLA said he hoped the information “may stimulate some necessary debate” on the issue.

“The mystery and secrecy surrounding injunctive relief is generally not healthy, nor does it sit comfortably with the transparency expectations of a modern society,” Mr Allister said.

“Thus, establishing that there have been four ‘super injunctions’ in Northern Ireland contributes in a small way to redressing the balance of secrecy.”

And the UTV report adds

[Mr Allister] added: “The growth of super-injunctions is a product of the courts being persuaded to prioritise privacy rights over freedom of expression and press rights within the Human Rights Act.

“I am far from convinced that this balance is weighted in the right direction – particularly where it is a facility which, in practical terms, is only likely to be available to those who can afford it.”

Of course, it’s not the only way by which those “transparency expectations” have been thwarted…

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