“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Support the Guardian.

with 6 comments

Don’t think I’d be saying that too often, but the Guardian has been muzzled concerning a parliamentary question on Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors. Reposted in full from Don’t Get Fooled Again:

The Parliamentary Question Carter Ruck and Trafigura don’t want you to see

with 28 comments

From The Guardian

The Guardian has been prevented from reporting parliamentary proceedings on legal grounds which appear to call into question privileges guaranteeing free speech established under the 1688 Bill of Rights.

Today’s published Commons order papers contain a question to be answered by a minister later this week. The Guardian is prevented from identifying the MP who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, or where the question is to be found.

The Guardian is also forbidden from telling its readers why the paper is prevented – for the first time in memory – from reporting parliament. Legal obstacles, which cannot be identified, involve proceedings, which cannot be mentioned, on behalf of a client who must remain secret.

The only fact the Guardian can report is that the case involves the London solicitors Carter-Ruck, who specialise in suing the media for clients, who include individuals or global corporations.

From, “Questions for Oral or Written Answer beginning on Tuesday 13 October 2009″

N Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation to protect (a) whistleblowers and (b) press freedom following the injunctions obtained in the High Court by (i) Barclays and Freshfields solicitors on 19 March 2009 on the publication of internal Barclays reports documenting alleged tax avoidance schemes and (ii) Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors on 11 September 2009 on the publication of the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura.

Click here for more background on the Trafigura/Carter-Ruck libel-abuse cover-up

UPDATE – pleased to see that the mighty Guido Fawkes had the same idea. Injunction scuppered…

UPDATE 2 – “Jack of Kent” gives a legal view

UPDATE 3 – Big thumbs up to The Spectator for, I think, being the first mainstream UK media to break ranks and fully report what’s been going on. If only they were this good the whole time – for any Spectator staff who are reading, can I request more of the defending-democracy stuff and less of the pseudo-debating AIDS-denialism? I hope Lord Fowler knows what you’re letting him in for!

Written by Richard Wilson

October 12, 2009 at 9:00 pm

I urge bloggers to publicize this issue and the role of Trafigura.

Update 1: Given the wave of support for the Guardian across the web, Carter-Ruck have capitulated.

Update 2:
More background on the role of Twitter that managed to defeat the combined muscle of lawyers and oil polluters can be found here.

6 Responses

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  1. I find this bewildering. Are you saying a court has prevented the publication of something that is going to happen in Parliament? Excuse my Yank confusion, but this is just plain weird.


    13/10/2009 at 23:09

  2. Yep, exactly, the oil company that polluted the Ivory Coast did that.


    14/10/2009 at 00:01

  3. You cats really need to fix your media freedom laws, mod.


    14/10/2009 at 00:28

  4. The Brits are a bit conservative in terms of re-defining laws to meet the 21st century..


    14/10/2009 at 01:15

  5. […] Support The Guardian Support the Guardian, they have been unjustifiably muzzled from reporting a legitimate parliamentary question. I think that bloggers should publicize this issue and in particular the role of Trafigura. […]

  6. […] 17, 2009 1:07 am Trafigura’s desire to keep the lid on the Minton report meant it spent an inordinate amount of money hiring the best lawyers that money can buy in Britain, Carter-Ruck, to keep even the name of the Minton report secret, lest […]

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