The End Result Of Superinjunctions: The Count The 'Can't Be Nameds' Game

from the drink! dept

Following on the Giggs Effect, it appears there have been some interesting developments. First, the BBC now feels comfortable naming Ryan Giggs after MP John Hemming used Parliamentary privilege to name Giggs while discussing this whole mess:

“Mr Speaker, with about 75,000 people having named Ryan Giggs it is obviously impracticable to imprison them all.”

Gotta love the understatement of the word “impracticable.”

Meanwhile, a different footballer (not Giggs apparently) who has a similar injunction is causing some additional interest after asking the Attorney General (who I’m sure has better things to do) to go after a famous unnamed journalist for a famous unnamed publication who posted an unlinked-to Tweet that mentions the unnamed footballer during an unnamed match. Seriously. Read the story and count what can’t be named. Just don’t take a drink each time, because you might not make it to the end:

The England footballer, known only by his court codename of TSE, instructed lawyers to ask the judge to pass the case on to the Attorney General?s office. And he agreed.

Due to the extraordinary restrictions surrounding the reporting of cases such as this, The Mail on Sunday cannot identify the journalist involved nor even provide readers with edited versions of his tweets.

It is believed that the messages were written about the player during a recent high-profile football match, which again The Mail on Sunday cannot identify due to court restrictions.

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Comments on “The End Result Of Superinjunctions: The Count The 'Can't Be Nameds' Game”

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Anonymous Coward says:

And the names have already been leaked on Twitter. The footballer’s widely believed to be Gareth Barry and the journalist is almost certainly Giles Coren (though according to his Twitter, he didn’t know himself.)

The irony is that unlike Giggs, Barry is not a footballer many people had heard of – well, they have now – and Giles Coren is hardly a household name.

Jesse (profile) says:

An appropriate response:

Assuming this superinjunction nonsense continues, here’s what British media should do. Rather than refer to the subject, just call them, “He who should not be named as of May 3, 2011” (or whatever date they bought their superinjunction).

Someone else could keep a superinjunction superlist, preferably hosted outside the UK. Even in the UK, one would imagine it be acceptable to report on who actually has a superinjunction (otherwise how would you know who you couldn’t write about???)

mike allen (profile) says:

I a few ago couldn’t care less about what this soccer moron did in bed. The moment a judge said i am not allowed to see his name it then became must have information. As soon as I and everyone else in the country were told you cant talk about this it became main topic. If Giggs had not bothered to waist his money he would be in the papers for about a day and forgotten. Now he enshrined himself in history great work.

FuzzyDuck says:

The shoking thing

The most shocking thing is of course that Ryan Giggs was allowed to publicly name and accuse Imogen Thomas, dragging her through the mud, while he was hiding behind the safety of a super injunction that didn’t allow Imogen to fight back.

Either everybody’s privacy is respected or nobody’s, but it can’t be one-sided like that.

Ryan Giggs has rightfully earned his place in history as one major a*hole taken down by the Internet. It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person.

Don’t fuck with the Internet.

Robert says:

The footballer is only the tip of the iceberg. The MP who named him as also cited examples of injunctions that claim to prohibit people from talking to their MPs, under threat of prison, which attacks one of the foundations of democracy. The judge involved, Justice Eady, has also talked the MP being in contempt of court, which is constitutional dynamite.

The whole affair is likely to end with the judges getting a harsh lesson in the realities of politics and the internet. Challenging the authority of Parliament is suicidal, almost as foolish as trying to control the internet.

Jay (profile) says:

This wasnt a superinjunction

Can someone please try to correct the title on this. The Giggs issue was NOT a superinjunction. It was just a normal injunction preventing disclosure of information about a person pending a full trial.

Injunctions sometimes serve a useful purpose, especially in defamation or privacy cases. Although they should be used sparingly they do protect the ideals that you are innocent until proven guilty and mud sticks.

Superinjunctions are normally really, really bad things. They actual prevent the reporting the fact an injunction has even been granted. Normally you can report a “footballer” has an injunction which allows the Giggs effect to work its magic. If this was a superinjunction we’d never even know it existed…

Please dont confuse the two. We should have the debate on superinjunctions but calling normal ones super makes the debate meaningless!

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