Landmark case: journalists DO have legal protection for their sources!!!

Just a quick note to the effect that on first sight (the judgement is here) the Recorder, Judge Burgess has set an interesting precedent in the Breen case. The BBC News reports “…he was satisfied that the concept of confidentiality for journalists protecting their sources is recognised in law, and specifically under the Terrorism Act 2000 and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights”. Before it was assumed there was no legal protections for journalists, now, because the PSNI pushed this case to the limit, it appears they have. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing, this may have profound implications for UK jurisprudence… Effectively they drove the judge into a blind alley and gave him no other reasonable way out…

Adds: In the circumstances, it’s an appropriate response to some pointedly political private press briefings from the dFM… A classic case of unintended consequences… presumably…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty