The Daily Star on Sunday, a tabloid newspaper owned and operated by Express Newspapers has failed in a bid to publish a story about the son of the environment secretary and Conservative MP for Meriden in the West Midlands, Caroline Spelman.
Mrs Spelman and her husband Mark sought the injunction late on Saturday evening after learning of the newspapers intention to publish the story on Sunday.
The case for seeking the injunction was that it contained “sensitive and personal” information about him. The couple won the injunction after a brief hearing at the High Court.
The High Court yesterday published details of the case, ruling that Mrs Spelman’s son had a reasonable expectation of privacy, and that in this instance this was not outweighed by any public interest in the content of the story.
In judgment, Mr Justice Lindblom ruled that the story was likely to have a very significantly harmful effect on the claimant, and on his emotional wellbeing.
“This is, I accept, a case in which sensitive personal information is involved,” said the judgment.
“I bear in mind that this is the case of a minor, facing the prospect of considerable press scrutiny from a tabloid newspaper,” it continued.
The newspaper had argued that any value in the story would be lost unless it was allowed to publish the story immediately. The judge accepted that there was a political dimension to the story which could not be ignored, but ruled that it was not in the public interest to a significant degree to warrant publication.
However, the Spelman’s attempt to have the injunction made secret was denied.
The judge in the case ruled that the injunction preventing publication granted them sufficient protection, and that it was therefore to be no secret that the injunction had been sought and awarded.
The case comes almost one year after a number of so called ‘super-injunctions’ were challenged as the names of until-then anonymous celebrities in receipt of the court orders were outed on social networking site, Twitter.
The judge in this case stated that this mode of action could now be the precedent for similar cases in future.
“This seemed to me properly to reflect the course which the court ought now normally to take in situations like this,” he said.
Read more on the story (The Guardian)
What is an injunction? (FindLaw)
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