MP John Hemming has named the footballer who has been the subject of a super-injunction. His name has been doing the rounds for some time. The issue of super-injunctions (issue of principle, impact of new media, courts v. media) has been infinitely more interesting – and a matter of public interest – than the substance of the story (footballer has affair), which may be something of interest to the public but not necessarily a matter of public interest.
However, prior to what was said in the Commons, Mr Justice Eady had refused to lift the injunction. BBC News Online reported:
‘In court, Mr Justice Eady rejected a fresh application by Sun publisher News Group Newspapers to discharge the privacy injunction.
The judge said: “The court’s duty remains to try and protect the claimant, and particularly his family, from intrusion and harassment so long as it can.”‘
I would have thought that the principal duty in this respect lay with the claimant. If he wishes to protect his family, he needed to think about the consequences of his actions. It is not necessarily the job of the courts to save him from his own misdeeds.
I would also have thought that avoiding a super injuction, and letting the story run, would have been a 24-hour wonder. As it is, it has been a long-running saga with the identity of the footballer doing the rounds for weeks…