|Lord Neuberger's report is pending|
I imagine that these super injunctions cover two types of case. The one where the biggest concern is embarrassment, and the other where there is a genuine safety issue. We hear about the former because its absurd...but not the latter. We don't hear about the latter because the justification is so genuine that information is not leaked, or where it is leaked the papers choose, from a moral point of view, not to publish it. Therefore it is obvious to me that a certain level of restrain is being exercised in relation to the genuine cases.
So will allowing journalists into these proceedings really help the situation? I suggest not. Reasoning is very subjective...law students and graduates amongst us will remember many occasions where they have read a judgement and disagreed with it. Is this mere disagreement enough for the journalist to publish the details in the public interest? After all, that's what fellow bloggers and twitterers are doing at the moment. I can imagine cases where the media present will choose to publish something that is, in their opinion, outrageous and or unfair.
What other alternatives can there be? The judiciary can carry on as they are, in the knowledge that the public outcry over the super injunctions that we know about are acceptable considering the risks that come with exposing other current and future important injunctions?
Or we could keep the current system of secrecy, but have an office holder much like the the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice that is present to argue purely in the public interest. Or even better, have a jury of Members of Parliament (raising all sorts of separation of powers arguments no doubt!)
If the super injunction situation tells us, the government, and the judiciary, anything its that citizen journalism can, and will, make or break an issue. I am very conflicted about the issue itself at the moment, but i have no doubt that the use of blogs and twitter has sent a clear message to all public figures that they must behave, otherwise they will feel our wrath...and there is no state sponsored hiding place. Citizen journalism has got a stripe on its arm, and knowing that public figures will count this as a one off, i expect us to have many more in the future.