April 7, 2011

My gagging order was served by email so as that is not lawful im not gagged !

Filed under: Secret family courts — Granarchist @ 5:57 pm

‘Let’s threaten them with prison’: MP goes to war with judges who hand out gagging orders

Last updated at 12:36 AM on 7th April 2011



Acting to protect citizens: MP John Hemming is fighting against what he calls 'hyper-injunctions' Acting to protect citizens: MP John Hemming is fighting against what he calls ‘hyper-injunctions’

An MP has called on Parliament to take action against the spread of a draconian new type of legal gag he calls the ‘hyper-injunction’.

Liberal Democrat John Hemming wants the Commons to launch an arcane process that could theoretically threaten legal action against judges who hand out these blanket secrecy orders.

They are part of a growing series of complicated gagging writs devised by the courts to prevent people from talking about cases in which they are involved – even to their local MP.

They also bar them from talking to others who may be interested in their case, such as journalists.

Mr Hemming has mentioned four specific hyper-injunctions in the Commons, including the case of Andrew France, a constituent who complained about the conduct of a social worker and who was silenced in a family case; a 26-year-old forcibly sent to a care home; and a commercial case involving allegations of contaminated water on passenger ships.

The Birmingham Yardley MP said he has called on Speaker John Bercow to begin procedures to overturn these orders under Contempt of Parliament precedents dating back to the 17th century.

It remains a legal tradition that people have a right to talk to MPs to petition the monarch and that politicians are free to take up the concerns of their constituents.




Judges who grant hyper-injunctions do so to protect the secrecy of the courts in the name of defending the interests of children or others involved, who they believe could be unfairly damaged by publicity.

Mr Hemming said he had asked the Speaker to give the issue priority for consideration by the Standards and Privileges Committee of MPs, which wields ancient legal powers.

He said: ‘The records of the House of Commons make it clear that people have an inalienable right to talk to Members of Parliament in order to petition the King.’

Protected: Former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Sir Fred Goodwin Protected: Former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Sir Fred Goodwin

Mr Hemming went on to list the options open to the Commons authorities, including passing ‘a resolution which could imprison someone until the end of the Parliamentary session’.

He added: ‘I do not expect the House of Commons to imprison the judges, but it is important that the House acts to protect citizens today.

‘It is interesting to note that the subjects of the 17th century were more protected by the House of Commons than citizens have been today.  Parliament needs to make a stand to say that it refuses to be deafened or blinded.’

The Lib Dem MP has already played a central role in the campaign against ‘super-injunctions’, the gagging orders from courts so secret that it is a crime to disclose their very existence.

Judges have now accepted that such writs will be reported by the Press.

Mr Hemming used Parliamentary privilege to reveal that the disgraced former Royal Bank of Scotland chief had taken out a super-injunction. He told MPs the order was so draconian that it prevented Sir Fred Goodwin from being identified as a banker.


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