Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Super-Duper Injunction – A lawyer writes

My friend Lord Trencherman has asked a favour of me. He tells me that his charming wife, Ivana has taken to blogging and has told him that she wants to take the genre (for want of a better word) to places that this publicity-hungry strumpet, ‘Belle de Jour’ couldn’t begin to imagine. Apparently Lady Ivana spent a number of years hanging out in Burbank, California, before she met his Lordship and has some rather interesting stories to tell.

He has asked me to check on some of the legal ramifications of describing persons living or dead whom her Ladyship encountered over the years. He says that he cannot fathom why this is really necessary, as he assumes her revelations will be good natured and congenial. But apparently she is really quite insistent. I suspect that he is somewhat in the dark as to the true nature of her Ladyship’s relations and sadly has not twigged why this “Belle de Jour” has fired her up in the first place. But then Reggie always was charmingly naïve about these things.

As an old mate of Reggie’s, I have of course said that I am happy to oblige. Although I did point out to him that I normally ‘act for the other side’. My firm is one of those that has pioneered the use of the ‘super-injunction’ recently and I have to say that in general the application of this exciting new legal tool has been really rather encouraging to date.

Oh, I know that there was a spot of bother recently when one of our competitors tried to muzzle some turbulent parliamentarians. But I say that any fool know; the only way to get members of either Lords or Commons to do your bidding is to wave handfuls of cash under their porcine little snouts. We all know that piggies far prefer carrots to sticks. So yours truly will not be thrusting super-injunctions in the direction of the Mother of all Parliaments any time soon.

One more thing that I will add, before I scarper off to do my home work for dear old Reggie, is that my firm is working on an even more exciting legal tool as I write. This, we are (provisionally at least) giving the ‘working title’ of the Super-Duper Injunction. I know this sounds frivolous, but who knows, for that very reason it perhaps also sounds reassuringly unthreatening.

What we hope to do is go one stage further than the super-injunction. You see, one of the problems in the case of the Guardian super-injunction was the role that the internet played. The law firm that attempted to muzzle the press kicked up a storm in trying to do so. Or to put it another way: The shit hit the Twitter. The news of the injunction and the case that they were trying to suppress spread like wildfire over the World Wide Web, undoing all the good work that the super-injunction had initially done.

So what we are hoping to do now is find a way to shut down entire networks of communication next time we find ourselves in this kind of situation. We would hope to be able to go direct to the operators of, say, Twitter and ensure that any particular strands or threads that violated the terms of the super-injunction would be blocked. Obviously we are hoping to glean some useful information from our friends in the People’s Republic of China and one or two of the Islamic nations, as they already have form in this area. But it would all be rather jolly if we could ensure – through the rule of British law - that certain words or conversation threads were entirely blocked from the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and some of the other squalid little social networking sites.

Anyway, I hope to be able to let you how we are getting on with the technical aspects of this exciting new development in the near future. In the meantime, it is back to investigating and steering Lady Ivana’s lurid excursions into the world of the blogosphere. Let’s hope that I get a case of Reggie’s Mouton 89 for my efforts!
Toodle pip!
The guest blogger today is a partner at the law firm Sheister Ganif and Sheister.