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Friday, 7 October 2011

When the press oppress

I will be published in next week's Criminal Law & Justice Weekly on the case of HM Attorney-General v MGN Ltd and another [2011] All ER (D) 06 (Aug).  The citation for the article is Criminal Law & Justice Weekly, vol 175, 17 September 2011, p 591.

The opening two paragraphs are reproduced below, and the article will be accessible in due course on the CL&J website (link on the left hand side of the page):

Two principles fundamental to English law are open justice and freedom of the press. The right of the public to know via the press who has been charged with what is one of the key features that distinguishes a free society from the sort of tyrannies where those deemed not to be on message politically disappear and are never heard from again.

Equally fundamental, however, is the right to a fair trial, which requires among other things that an accused is judged solely according to the evidence before the court, not the fevered imaginings of the more populist elements of the press. Balancing the competing principles formed the basis of the recent case of HM Attorney-General v MGN Ltd and another [2011] All ER (D) 06 (Aug).

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