What now for those buying anonymity? - Press - Media - The Independent

Privacy, law and the Andrew Marr show:

What now for those buying anonymity?

After presenter's confession, what now for the rich and famous who have bought anonymity with super-injunctions?

Campaigners for reform of Britain's privacy laws have expressed hope that Andrew Marr's dramatic volte-face yesterday over an injunction that he had taken out to prevent the reporting of his extra-marital affair would compel judges to hesitate before granting further gagging orders. Meanwhile lawyers said that injunctions obtained by other celebrities could now be tested in the courts.

The BBC presenter admitted to being "embarrassed" and "uneasy" after hiding behind an injunction over the reporting of his affair with a journalist with whom he believed he had fathered a child. "I did not come into journalism to go around gagging journalists," he said to the Daily Mail. Mr Marr said in an interview that he thought the granting of injunctions "seems to be running out of control".

Index on Censorship – fighting what it sees as a growing threat to press freedom in the form of the use of injunctions – said it hoped that the Marr case would help to change public opinion on the issue. The Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, is due to report next month on the use of injunctions and super-injunctions (which ban the reporting of the existence of an injunction) having headed a committee that has been examining the matter for a year.

Padraig Reidy, news editor at Index on Censorship, said: "[The Marr case] has drawn a lot of attention to the culture of privacy emerging in the courts. For someone as prominent and respected as Andrew Marr to not just say he was abandoning his own super-injunction but say that he felt there was too much of a culture of privacy in the courts does suggest that we may see a shift in public opinion towards the view that injunctions are overused and unfair."

Keith Mathieson, a media lawyer, said the Marr injunction had been granted three years ago and thatother older injunctions might now be tested by the media. "I suspect that there are some older injunctions that are in much stricter terms than injunctions granted in the last few months," he said. "The Andrew Marr case might prompt a reconsideration [by the media] of whether those injunctions should be revisited."

There are believed to be about 30 gagging orders in existence and in the past few days they have been granted to a married man in the entertainment industry and a Premier League footballer. Last week David Cameron entered the debate by saying he was "a little uneasy" about the actions of the courts. "What's happening here is that the judges are using the European Convention on Human Rights to deliver a sort of privacy law without Parliament saying so," he said.

The Ministry of Justice says it is unable to put a figure on the number of current injunctions and has instructed its chief statistician to identify a method of collating reliable data. After the Prime Minister's comments, the ministry said it "recognises the importance" of balancing the right to freedom of expression against the individual's right to privacy. "The Government's proposed reforms of the law of defamation are one aspect of this balancing process. Another is the Master of the Rolls's Committee to examine the use of super-injunctions and other issues relating to injunctions which bind the press."

Lord Lester, another prominent campaigner for press freedom, said he hoped the Master of the Rolls's report would give an indication that the Human Rights Act was intended to give priority to freedom of speech and that courts should reflect this when considering the granting of injunctions. But the leading media silk Hugh Tomlinson QC said he believed that Mr Cameron's comments were "regrettably uninformed" and should not have any impact on the report. Mr Tomlinson, who acted for Mr Marr, said yesterday's events should not have an impact on the future granting of injunctions. "The big picture is that there has been little change for a number of years," he said. "Some newspapers have realised it's more interesting to talk about what they cannot talk about than the story itself. There are no more injunctions now than there were a year ago or two years ago."

Mr Tomlinson, a prominent contributor to the blog site Inforrm (The International Forum for Responsible Media), said that in most cases the media did not oppose the injunctions.

Since the start of this year, about 16 fresh injunctions have been granted, five of them by Mr Justice Eady, who has become a target for a section of the press that suspects he is creating a privacy law "by the back door".

Gagging orders

* Andrew Marr yesterday came clean about gagging order to keep affair secret.

* A leading sportsman won a gagging order after learning The Sun planned to publish a story he had cheated on his partner with two women. A judge said his private life could be 'unlawfully exposed'.

* A prominent married actor obtained an injunction two weeks ago to prevent a woman, who was speaking to newspapers about their sexual encounters, from naming him.

* A married public figure said revealing his infidelity would be 'very distressing' for his family. A judge agreed it would breach his rights after hearing the woman was demanding 'hush money'.

* A married football manager gained an injunction banning a husband revealing his alleged affair with the man's wife. The manager argued for privacy because he was trying to rebuild his life.

* A high-profile television presenter won an injunction to stop his ex-wife writing about their relationship and about claims they had a sexual affair after he marriedagain. Neither may be identified.

* A top footballer won an injunction preventing the reporting of claims of a 'sexual liaison, encounter or relationship' with an international female sports star, banning publication of 'private or personal photographs'.

* A world-famous married sportsman obtained a gagging order preventing publication of any suggestions that he had had an extra-marital affair with a woman.

* A high-profile figure, associated with the alternative vote campaign, was granted an order preventing disclosure of details of his sex life, as protecting his 'rights and interests' outweighed 'any public interest in reporting the proceedings'.

* A man was granted an injunction in a 'straightforward... blackmail case' involving intimate photographs. The defendants agreed not to publish, but the judge said there was 'clear risk' of that and upheld the gagging order.

MP names names in House of Commons

John Hemming, the Liberal Democrat MP who has campaigned against super-injunctions, used parliamentary privilege yesterday to identify a woman who was threatened with jail for speaking at a public meeting he organised in the House of Commons last month.

The meeting, in a Commons committee room, discussed family courts, which have extensive powers to ban publicity in cases involving children. The MP learnt later that a woman who spoke had received a summons. He told MPs: "Vicky Haigh, a horse trainer and previously a jockey, was the subject of an attempt by Doncaster council to imprison her for speaking at a meeting in Parliament." He was warned not to say any more by the Speaker, John Bercow, who promised to speak to him in private.

Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Tim Wiese
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Brand Manager / Account Manager

£28 - 36k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Brand Manager / Senior Account Manager is nee...

Sales Executive

£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...

Director of Programming and Industry Engagement

£40k - £50k depending on experience: Sheffield Doc/Fest: Sheffield Doc/Fest is...

Resourcer / Junior Recruiter

£15-20k (DOE) + Benefits / Bonus: Guru Careers: Joining as a Resourcer / Juni...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week