The free press in Britain

The Guardian reports:

The Guardian has been prevented from reporting parliamentary proceedings on legal grounds which appear to call into question privileges guaranteeing free speech established under the 1688 Bill of Rights.

Today’s published Commons order papers contain a question to be answered by a minister later this week. The Guardian is prevented from identifying the MP who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, or where the question is to be found.

The Guardian is also forbidden from telling its readers why the paper is prevented – for the first time in memory – from reporting parliament. Legal obstacles, which cannot be identified, involve proceedings, which cannot be mentioned, on behalf of a client who must remain secret.

The only fact the Guardian can report is that the case involves the London solicitors Carter-Ruck, who specialise in suing the media for clients, who include individuals or global corporations.

The good news, such as it is, is that the injunction was lifted today. (ASIDE: The affair had to do with a scandal involving dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast.) So, should we be mollified that the British press can be prevented from reporting the proceedings of a public session of the House of Commons for only one day?

(Via Instapundit.)

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