Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A victory for freedom of speech in the UK

Yesterday, UK libel law hit a new low when a law firm representing corporate criminal oil-traders Trafigura (who some may remember were responsible for the dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast back in 2006, killing 17 people and injuring over 30,000) sought to prevent the Guardian from reporting on Parliament. The good news is that Trafigura's lawyers have now backed off, following mass violation of their suppression order on the internet. So, freedom of speech appears to win for the moment. But the bad news is that judges are still handing out these "super-injunctions", preventing not just publication of the material in question, but any mention of the case at all.

Open justice in the UK is under threat, and being twisted towards secrecy by the rich and powerful. its a disturbing, authoritarian trend. But hopefully Trafigura's overstepping of the mark yesterday will help put a stop to it.