A month or so ago I wrote an article on here about how the rise in injunctions granted protecting the identity of the parties was the fault of the tabloids, and it’s good to see that in writing that, I was agreeing with the views of Stephen Sedley, the recently–retired judge of the Court of Appeal.
The naming of Goodwin and Giggs is on a different plane from ministerial briefings against judges, inappropriate as these are, because it disrupts the historic equilibrium between the judiciary and the legislature. The media may present themselves as amused spectators, but it is they who have provoked and exploited the breakdown of an element in the democracy they themselves inhabit.
A sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree. And rather than sort out this perfectly obvious elephant in the room, senior politicians spend their time attacking the judges, rather than the media:
This is why the issues are large. It can be credibly said that the fourth estate is close to being a state within the state, unregulated except to the modest extent that it chooses to regulate itself and alternately feared and pandered to by public figures.
Formal regulation, I’d suggest, is overdue.
Mind you, in the UK at least we have the background of some protection via the right to privacy enshrined via Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. A person whom I follow on twitter re–tweeted this link to an blog post by popstar and new mum Pink, complaining about paparazzi trying to grab photos of her new daughter. At least in the UK and Europe that (following the case brought by JK Rowling for breach of her son’s privacy) is not allowed.
And in related news to do with the media: jury discharged before considering whether Levi Belfield abducted Rachel Cowles because of adverse publicity over his conviction of the murder of Milly Dowler. They couldn’t even wait until verdicts were brought in on all charges. The media simply don’t care about justice, or you — it’s all about the story.