Activist judges – now there’s something to be afraid of. Without a written constitution, in terms of hierarchy, the judiciary sits below Parliament . Well, at least that’s what we hope. We, the people, elect fellow citizen’s to govern us, and they can be removed by us. Not so with judges.
There’s the principle of judicial review, where judges can review the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body. They can use European laws, and the European Convention of Human Rights in this process.
Which is where we are with judges and ‘privacy’ injunctions and super injunctions. Judges are interpreting the ECHR to create a privacy law. The Prime Minister spoke of his unease about this last week. Unease, for me it’s a flagrant misuse of power, creating a law of privacy without Parliament’s involvement, and mostly for the use of the rich and famous.
Today, Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye, has been vindicated in that Andrew Mar has lifted his unsavoury super injunction [about his affair with a fellow journalist], against which Ian has been fighting. Like others I’ve been really uncomfortable in seeing Marr’s hypocrisy when questioning politician’s, while discussion of his affair was protected by injunction. Therefore, it was a pleasure to hear Ian Hislop say this on the BBC Radio Today programme.
As a leading BBC interviewer who is asking politicians about failures in judgment, failures in their private lives, inconsistencies, it was pretty rank of him to have an injunction while working as an active journalist. He knows that and I’m very pleased he’s come forward and said ‘I can no longer do this’.
While Private Eye were injuncted from reporting on Andrew Marr’s affair, Guido took a calculated risk, knowing his blog was outside of the English Courts jurisdiction. Not now, however, the most recently granted super injunction by Justice Eady, was made ‘contra mundum’, in effect a worldwide ban in perpetuity about an individual’s private life.
Activist judges, be very afraid.