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Top UK Judge Slams MPs over Injunctions

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TEHRAN, May 22 (ICANA) – The most senior judge in England and Wales has hit out at a tendency among UK politicians to consciously expose the content of privacy cases covered by injunctions.
Sunday, May 22, 2011 9:23:38 PM
Top UK Judge Slams MPs over Injunctions

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, said lawmakers and peers should stop "flouting a court order just because they disagree with a court order or for that matter because they disagree with the law of privacy which parliament has created."

The comments, which could be seen as a move to shut the public out of parliamentary proceedings, come as the MPs have started a review of injunctions.

The review has so far found that letting the comments by MPs and peers slip outside the parliament house against court orders may be in contempt of court.

Lord Neuberger, the Master of the Rolls and the chairman of the inquiry into the injunctions, described the law on the issue as "astonishingly unclear" and "very unsatisfactory."

The injunctions law has recently created complicated situations in the house of parliament.

Two of such cases were raised by Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming who asked the Commons about an order that banned the media from calling former chief of Royal Bank of Scotland Sir Fred Goodwin 'a banker' and another order which banned a constituent from talking to his MP.

Speaking to reporters at the Royal Court of Justice in central London, Lord Judge said that the case of MPs and Lords ignoring injunctions was a “serious” issue.

"There has never been any question, in any of these orders, not in any single one of them, of the court challenging the sovereignty of parliament. That's not the issue. We are following the law, as best we understand it, at the level of the judiciary where the issues have been canvassed," he added.

"Our constitutional arrangement have been based for centuries on mutual respect."

The judge also said representatives from the justice system, as well as the Commons and the Lords, would examine the issue.

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