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Friday, April 22, 2011

Unsteady Eady

Is it just me, or are the recent rulings by Mr Justice Eady somewhat at juxtaposition to a certain ruling by the same judge in 2009?

The reasoning behind Eady's refusal to allow an injunction preventing the publication of  police blogger Nightjack's identity was (paraphrased): "He might not have been a real police officer, so we had a right to know and if he was breaching the disciplinary code he should be stopped."  Which he was so we didn't and he wasn't and shouldn't have been.  

In the recent cases of hyper-injunctions protecting celebrities from "naming and shaming", however, Mr Justice Eady appears to take a different view.  Apparently publishing stories about celebrities and their sexual misdemeanours might upset their families, and therefore in this case the media is the bad guy.

The cases aren't the same: on the one hand you have a police officer serving his country, getting on with his job, whilst at the same time doing a wider public service by exposing hypocrisy and waste in the system.  Both of which could have been effectively stopped by Eady's ruling.  On the other hand, you have someone prancing around on television pretending to be something they're not, while the victims of their antics are forbidden from talking about it.  Any commonsense member of the public could make a fair distinction between the two, surely.

Conveniently, both of Eady's rulings would appear to protect certain people in certain situations.  For example, should a High Court judge happen to start a scandalous affair in private whilst publicly contributing to an inefficient, wasteful and hypocritical legal system, he could both seek a hyper-injunction to protect himself in both arenas, whilst refusing one for any person seeking to expose him.

Interesting.  Oh, er, and purely hypothetical, of course. 

Still... anyone at the News of the World got the number for Mr Justice Eady's answerphone?

 
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'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Lance Manley- former STAB PROOF SCARECEROW said...

First!

23 April, 2011 02:02

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh no. Not the placing antics - please get thee to Gadget.

Excellent post. Sgt. Bloggs well represents the public she serves.

The nightjack blog was outstanding. He was the first 'public sector' blogger I followed regularly. His writing opened up an avenue of insight for me that has completely replaced the MSM.

Nightjack's treatment at the hands of this judge - and The Times - was a disgrace. Your piece illustrates the nonsense more succinctly and better than any other I have read.

Ray.

23 April, 2011 09:15

 
Anonymous dickiebo said...

Yes! Nightjack was badly let down.
Eady really is a law unto himself, methinks!

23 April, 2011 10:51

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're forgetting the most important legal distinction in this type of case.

The mystery celebrities in these cases can afford to spend MUCH more on legal fees than Nightjack.

As a lawyer friend of mine once said: "English justice is the best money can buy".

It's not about the strength of your case- it's about how much money you can throw at it.

Or, as my friend summed up: "Justice costs money. How much can you afford?"

23 April, 2011 10:56

 
Anonymous Juma said...

I don't get the thing about the injunctions anyway, since the names of these persons are all over the net?

If you really want people to go digging, get a superinjunction.

Anyone with a computer and half a brain can find their names in less than 1 minute by now.

23 April, 2011 14:17

 
Anonymous 2 Robins said...

If I remember rightly private eye was reporting that the senior judges were going to review one of his judgements.

It looks like someone may be about to clip his wings.

Shame about Nightjack...

23 April, 2011 20:33

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the media are not allowed to name asnd shame the latest cheating, adulterous, but family loving, celebrity, can we guess who it isn't?
I believe it is not Julian Clary.

24 April, 2011 22:48

 
Anonymous Bender said...

But WPC Bloggs, you are disingenuously overlooking something : NightJerk revealed details in his blog of ongoing current investigations and also details and backgrounds of the defendants in trials which were on-going at the time he posted them on his weblog. (Details which were declared inadmissible in open court court)

Gross misconduct.

Old Richard "Dick" Horton is lucky not to have been sacked.

Be consistent, eh? Or is it that you lot will always stick together and defend each other no matter what breaches of the law are involved. As per Simon Harwood, for example.

Oh, hypocrisy thy name is WPC Bimbo Bloggs,

25 April, 2011 23:20

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bender,
All excellent points about Nightjack.
Except for the fact they are nonsense.

Still you keep fighting the good fight in whatever it is you do for a living.
In the meantime please keep posting drivel on the internet - it clearly allows you to fulfil some kind of sad and lonely keyboard freedom fighter fantasy, and it gives the rest of us something to laugh at.

Tang0

26 April, 2011 01:39

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete,
Glad you used the phrase "giving evidence in court", since evidence appears to be the one thing you lack.

Surely someone of your grandiose self-importance is capable of actually reading the judgement of Eady, before you start spraying around accusations of contempt of court.

Still I am sure you have a better grasp of the facts than every Lancashire defence lawyer and defendant where Horton has been listed as a prosecution witness, who will doubtless have scoured the blog for grounds to appeal.

Why don't you offer your services - you might find defending child rapists just your cup of tea.

Tang0

26 April, 2011 20:49

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bender the peter,

I understand now - you are using the word ongoing to describe investigations and court cases that are complete.

Similar to the interpretation the Times has for confidential = reported in court.

Oddly the Times glossed over the fact that the elected official they get their knickers in a twist about was CHARGED with incitement to rape, incitement to murder, incitement to kidnap, incitement to torture but the CPS decided only to run with an indecent image charge - incidentally a different one to that described by Horton.
You will of course be aware of the significance of the fact he was charged.

Maybe he'll sue. But then again - if the Times hadn't outed Nightjack I am not quite sure how the councillor would have been identified from a trial 5 years before the blog. So maybe he should be suing the Times.
Still waiting for that court case.

It is quite clear that you don't really understand the court process with the way you bandy around terms like "inadmissible in open court" and appear to misunderstand contempt of court.

You worked your way through the Eady judgement yet? Perhaps you can only manage the piss-poor journalism of the Times

Loving the insults by the way - they make your arguments appear so much stronger.

Tang0

26 April, 2011 22:34

 
OpenID mondaybooks said...

Ironically, Eady spent a lot of his barristerial career defending the tabloids in libel actions.
In his latest case he has issed an injunction contra mundum, which seems to mean the whole world is banned from knowing/revealing whatever it is the injunction refers to. Hard to see how the courts will enforce that!

27 April, 2011 15:01

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Pete, those are all arguments for reporting Nightjack to his force, but have nothing to do with whether he should have been granted an injunction or not. Incidentally he was not found guilty of gross misconduct, indeed, he was not even tried for it.

28 April, 2011 20:06

 
Anonymous TheBinarySurfer said...

Don't feed the trolls ladies and gents. :D

Totally agree; judges are unaccountable in every sense that a public official should be, free to pander to whatever prejudices they hold as long as they dress it up in legalese suitably or can find a vaguely similar precedent to compare fellaciously. (spelling?)

I can only hope that Mr Eady suffers an incident of some kind requiring the urgent services of the same public servants he seems to hold in lesser regard than the modern pseudo-royalty that are our celebrities.

RIP Nightjack btw, well written and thought out articles, often from a nicely balanced viewpoint.

02 May, 2011 00:35

 

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