English/Welsh courts are completely out of control, r.e. injunctions

As if so-called judge-created super-injunctions weren’t bad enough there’s apparently now such thing as a hyper-injunction which:

This hyper-injunction was ordered against an individual who wished to leak the fact that:

How is this even legal? How can the courts bar somebody from speaking to their own MP about a legal matter? Can anybody actually defend this practice, which on a first-blush appears to be perhaps one of the gravest affronts to British democracy in living memory? Why is Parliament allowing itself to be dictated to by judges?

Because the people in Parliament are all rich public figures and can use the courts to their own advantage, as can figures in the media which is one reason there isn’t so much pressure as there should be.

And the courts can do it by issuing an order to that effect and imprisoning you should you breach it.

Your thread title says it all, really. Ian Hislop said something in this week’s HIGNFY which astonished me - that the party taking out the injunction doesn’t have to prove anything about their claim, the judge simply makes the ruling based on what they say. If true, this seems like a serious flaw. How can it be a good law when it only listens to one side of the story?

All 650 of them? That’s a pretty broad brush.

Well, just for being MPs they get three times the national average wage, then they claim, on average, three times that figure in expenses which provide their travel, food, housing and a team of workers and an office to do their actual work for them. And they’re all public figures enough to be able to use the libel laws to their benefit.

Yes, we should pay them a pittance, shouldn’t we? Then we might get rid of the ones who’re in it for the money, the bastards.
More likely we’d end up with a parliament composed entirely of independently wealthy MPs, multi-millionaires who can fund themselves even without an MP’s salary, and then you’d really have something to your claim about them all being rich. I don’t particularly like the shape of the government at the moment - the current cabinet looks like a reunion of the 1980s Bullingdon Club - but to tar MPs from modest backgrounds, in marginal seats where their job might last only four years and then they’re unemployed (and such MPs do exist) as being in the same league as the toffs with their castles and their duck houses, seems a bit unfair.

Hmm, wonder how the ‘hyper-injunction’ would play out in the EU court.

There is a right to association and representation, if you can’t speak to anyone about a particular matter, it would seem to be a contradiction of that principle.

How would it be possible to seek legal advice both to counter the injunction, or to seek redress if there is an alleged detriment caused by the substance.This particular one is wrong on all counts, because it is not about privacy, and it is all about supressing debate on a genuine public interest issue.

I think the time for this type of injunction is soon to pass.

There are some honest MPs, but coming from a modest background doesn’t make one honest. Plenty of small-time crooks exist in Parliament, for every MP claiming to have his woods looked after or his moat cleans or a house built for his ducks there are dozens claiming they live in their sister’s broom cupboard so as to claim rent fraudulently, or claiming their gay lover is really their landlord for the same reason.

I don’t want MPs to go back to being unpaid, relying on voluntary contributions from Trade Unions and their constitutents if they aren’t wealthy themselves, but I do want them to get paid less. Keep the mercenaries out and require a bit of sacrifice for public service. Forbid them from going into private boardrooms after they quit. If they really must have expenses, they should be limited to travel, for which receipts should be provided, and possibly stamps. Not expenses for food, or housing, or other things people normally pay from their wages. Expenses should also be taxable as they are for businessmen, but aren’t for MPs.

Personally, I think you’ve got this about face. Pay them less and put loads of restrictions on their other sources of income and their parliamentary expenses and you are asking for more corruption, more dodgy dealing and more under the counter payments, not fewer.

It’s probably a topic for another thread but I would advocate a more transparent system to allow better monitoring of MPs activities, combined with strict limits on what they can and cannot do (I’m all for MPs not having any other job than being an MP for instance) and an increased salary. There is a coherent argument to be made that paying MPs more will attract better quality candidates (rather than people of intellect/quality going into private enterprise where they will be better remunerated). Combine this with stricter oversight of their dealings and harsh punishments for offenders and we might actually get somewhere.

On topic: on this issue, the English/Welsh courts are being made to look an ass. The hyper-injunction beggars belief. One can only hope that a change in the law is imminent. That said, what would they change the law to? IANA lawyer but what limited understanding I have about this issue leads me to believe that we have an incompatibility between the European Court/the European Bill of Human Rights and English/Welsh law. How do they deal with this in other European countries? One assumes that they are not drowning in a sea of legalese/injunctions…

A preliminary injunction is supposed to be a temporary measure to prevent immediate, irreversible harm while the actual law and facts are sorted out.

That being said, I doubt this particular injunction would be possible under U.S. law.

As said, this is a gross abuse of the legal system, and it’s astounding that judges are letting these go through.

The bar on speaking about it with lawyers seems particularly egregious - you can’t even get advice on the prospects for a successful challenge. In fact, unless there’s a wrinkle there, that pretty much sets the injunction in stone, doesn’t it? If even engaging someone to challenge the injunction counts as a breach, you’re permanently stymied.

Catch-22 is a fine book, but it really shouldn’t be the inspiration for judicial practice.

Doesn’t Britain have attorney-client confidentiality? How can they penalize you for saying something forbidden to a lawyer without asking you to violate it?