How does a "worldwide injunction" work?

UK Doper here. I don’t know if this is news anywhere else, but here there is a big story regarding a child murderer who was released from jail in 2001. Fearing retribution, he was given a new identity and apparently there was a worldwide injunction to prevent any publication of this or his location. He’s now back in jail, but the authorities won’t say why, and this injunction prevents the media here from disclosing any details.


My question is how does a worldwide injunction work? Does this prevent say a US newspaper printing these details? If so how would this be enforceable?

It does not prevent practically a US newspaper from publishing, (remember spycatcher), but under the principal of comity, Courts world over generally give each others rulings effect if they are not in conflict with local public policy.

Incidentally, world wide is often used as a subsititute for “blanket”.

In the Internet age, that comity is looking more and more like a comedy. There is no way to enforce it if there’s sufficiently broad-based support behind leaking the name. It would just become another example of the Streisand effect.

It’s effectively unenforceable abroad, but if the paper’s website can be (and is) accessed by UK residents, then the paper is deemed in violation and in contempt of court. If it doesn’t have any UK-based headquarters or assets it’s pretty much moot, and local courts may take a dim view of being asked to enforce any order that may be made in consequence.

This reminds me of the Paul Bernardo case. He and his girlfriend were serial killers in Canada in the early 1990s. When they went on trial, there was a nation-wide ban on reporting anything about the case, but of course this did not apply to US new outlets. The trial took place in St Catharines, which is just across the border from Buffalo – practically a suburb. The Buffalo news stations and papers went wall-to-wall with coverage, mostly because Canadians were hungry for the info.

This would have been before everyone was on the web. Wonder if such a thing is even possible now, unless the Canadian government was going to start blocking access to foreign news sites.

How could I forget about

Karla Homolka was the other killer in the Paul Bernardo case. All coverage of the trial was banned in Canada, which didn’t stop Americans from reporting on it, including those Americans with access to Usenet, a distributed bulletin board system. In fact, a new newsgroup,, was created to discuss the case, and the case was also discussed in a pre-existing newsgroup called ont.general. There was a huge public debate when those groups were removed from Canadian machines due to the ban. All this was going on at the same time Canadians were coming down to America to buy American newspapers carrying full trial coverage, as anson2995 said. The blackout was, therefore, spotty at best.

It was, in short, a comity of errors.