David Cameron
David Cameron has recommended that a joint parliamentary committee be set up to consider improvements to the law in relation to privacy injunctions.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday on behalf of the government, attorney general Dominic Grieve said the committee, which is due to report back in the autumn, will examine "whether the current arrangements are working and to consider whether we might make any changes that would make things work better."

The request for a committee to be established came from David Cameron, Grieve said. Cameron had spoken on ITV earlier in the day about the law needing to "catch up with how people consume media today".

Answering an urgent question from MP John Whittingdale on the topic of injunctions, Grieve said the joint committee would aim to advise on potential changes and put arrangements "on a more sustainable footing".

"A range of wider issues have been raised by the events of the last few months, and especially the last weekend, we take serious the need to ensure we have the correct balance between privacy and freedom of expression.

"... Such a committee will be able to use representation of both houses and the considerable expertise that select committees have, to examine whether the current arrangements are working and to consider whether we might make any changes that would make things work better."

The debate in the Commons followed the naming of a footballer who had obtained an injunction by Scottish newspaper, the Sunday Herald, as well as mass speculation of the identity of the player on Twitter.

Also speaking in the Commons yesterday MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to name the footballer at the centre of the privacy injunction as Ryan Giggs.

"Mr Speaker, with about 75,000 people having named Ryan Giggs on Twitter it is impractical to imprison them all," he said.

Speaker John Bercow interrupted Hemming to say that "occasions such as this are occasions for raising the issues of principle involved, not seeking to flout for whatever purpose."

But he let Hemming finish his question, so long as it was "in an orderly way".

On Friday last week a report by the Master of the Rolls committee on super injunctions said that the media should be informed in advance of applications for injunctions and superinjunctions.

The report from Lord Neuberger, who is the most senior civil judge in England and Wales, followed a year-long inquiry by a committee of judges and lawyers.

Image by World Economic Forum on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

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