Judge imposes Twitter ban

A High Court judge has issued an injunction which bans publication of information on Twitter and Facebook.







The order, made by Mr Justice Baker in the Court of Protection - linked to the Family Division of the High Court - is thought to be the first to place a specific ban on publishing information on any "social network or media including Twitter or Facebook", as well as in other media.



The normal orders issued by the Family Division judges to prevent identification of children and others involved in cases simply ban publication of specified information in "any newspaper, magazine, public computer network, internet website, sound or television broadcast or cable or satellite programme".



Mr Justice Baker issued the order in a case involving a woman, who can be referred to only as "M", who has been in "a minimally conscious state" since suffering from swelling of the brain stem, which caused serious damage and wasting to the brain.



M suffered the illness in 2003, when she was 43, and has been minimally conscious since.



Her mother applied to the Court of Protection, which deals with cases of those who are unable to make their own decisions on medical care or other issues, for an order that those who are looking after M could withdraw nourishment and medical treatment and allow her to die, while giving her the care and treatment she needed to suffer the least distress and maintain as much dignity as possible.



Mr Justice Baker had issued one injunction in the case which banned the media not merely from publishing information which could identify anyone involved in the case, but also from contacting a list of 65 people who were connected with it, including M's relatives and care home staff.



The new order, attached to a judgment handed down yesterday, bans the identification of the parties and other people, and the care home or NHS Trust responsible for treating M.



It also prohibits anyone from making any attempt to contact a variety of people, including M's mother, sister and husband, or going within specified distances of certain people and locations.



The specific ban on using Facebook or Twitter comes after a user of the American-based Twitter website used it to publish details of individuals who had allegedly obtained injunctions banning the media from publishing stories about their private lives.



But legal observers believe it could be difficult to enforce, as both Twitter and Facebook are run by companies in the United States, outside the jurisdiction of the English courts, which could make it extremely difficult to trace the identity of anyone who posted material.



The Court of Protection Rules specify that cases are normally heard in secret. But it does allow for exceptions in which cases can be heard in public, subject to reporting restrictions protecting the identities of the parties.



Recent cases in the court which have been reported included one about who took responsibility for the financial affairs of the blind and autistic prodigy pianist Derek Paravicini (after The Independent, leading a group of media companies, convinced the Court that the case should be reported and its subject identified), and another involving allegations that the London Borough of Hillingdon breached the human rights of Mark Neary, a 20-year-old man with autism and learning difficulties, when it removed him from his father's care and placed him in a care home.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Systems and Network Support Analyst

£26000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...

Recruitment Genius: IT Systems Support Analyst

£20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...

Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

£20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker / Trainee Broker / Closer - OTE £250,000

£30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker/ Trainee FX, Stoc...

Day In a Page

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests