freedom of expression

Miranda: the Court of Appeal’s interpretation of “terrorism”

January 19, 2016

I’ve already criticised what I think is a fundamental contradiction undermining the Court of Appeal’s judgment in the Miranda case. But there’s another aspect of the judgment that I must mention, which may well be of more lasting importance. The power used to stop and question David Miranda is conferred by paragraph 2(1) of Schedule […]

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The self-contradictory Miranda appeal ruling

January 19, 2016

I’ve been following for some time David Miranda’s challenge to the lawfulness of his questioning at Heathrow airport in 2013. I wrote shortly after his detention; I covered his application for an injunction; I published his grounds for judicial review; I live-tweeted the judicial review hearing and analysed Lord Justice Laws’s judgment against Miranda; and […]

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Press regulation Royal Charter, final draft: my detailed comments on the new provisions

October 15, 2013

I’ve spent some time looking at the final draft of the Royal Charter – so I want to share my thoughts with you. If you click the bottom left of the viewer, you’ll see in fullscreen view, highlighted, the key changes made since the original draft last March and be able to click again to […]

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Miranda v Home Secretary: today’s hearing and order

August 22, 2013

Today’s hearing at the High Court before Lord Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Kenneth Parker was interesting, and not just because of the order they made. But let me turn to that order first. The court has ordered that until a further hearing next Friday, August 30th, the government and the police may not inspect, […]

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The press regulation jigsaw’s missing piece: writers

March 28, 2013

In Monday’s Lords debate about the new press regulation provisions inserted into the Crime and Courts Bill, one line stands out above all. Discussing an amendment about the vicarious liability of publishers, justice minister Lord McNally said (column 876): the liability of individual journalists at common law remains as it is now. Although said in […]

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Press regulation: the international aspect

March 26, 2013

An exchange in last night’s Lords debate on the new press regulation clauses in the Crime and Courts Bill revealed a little-noticed – and no doubt to some, astonishing – aspect of the proposed system: it covers foreign publishers. Lord Lucas raised the issue (column 854): I am sure that this is my misreading, but […]

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Why press regulation should cover blogs

March 24, 2013

In my last post, I said I was worried that the press self-regulation scheme agreed by the main political parties (and to be underpinned by a Royal Charter and two pieces of legislation) would not offer bloggers what it offers the press. Let me explain my worries – and why I think every type of […]

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The Leveson Royal Charter deal

March 23, 2013

Just before Lord Justice Leveson reported in November, I wrote in support of statutory press regulation: Only legislation can require newspapers to submit even to their own enforcement of their own code … What statute – and no other arrangement – can do is set up a genuinely independent regulator: independent not only of the […]

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Craig Murray’s Newsnight outburst: the law on anonymity should be tightened

August 21, 2012

Last night on the BBC’s Newsnight, Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, named one of the women whose evidence has led Swedish prosecutors to seek the extradition of Julian Assange. I agree with those who think this was a shocking thing for him to do. It shows no regard for the rights of […]

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Without Prejudice

March 9, 2012

In Without Prejudice this week Charon QC chairs a free speech special. Nick Cohen, writer, journalist and author of You Can’t Read This Book joins barrister, policymaker and former Conservative candidate Joanne Cash, David Allen Green and me to talk about free speech in Britain today including: threats to free speech from extreme religion, the […]

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