The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

Yes. There's a lot of squealing, again from the tabloid press, about these injunctions and so on and they say it muzzles the press and it has a chilling effect, et cetera, and I just make the point, well, first of all, no one's taken a privacy case against the Guardian; and secondly, if there's a public interest defence, why in the case of many -- the vast majority of these injunction cases, does the newspaper in question not even bother to turn up to defend their piece on the grounds of public interest? The judge sits there and says, "Well, where's the paper?" and the paper doesn't turn up, and I ask: is that because there is no public interest defence? And I think we all know the answer to that.

And I make the point that ultimately it all comes down to public interest and who is better to decide whether a piece of journalism is in the public interest or not? Would that be a judge or would it be the tabloid editor who stands to profit commercially from the piece? To me, it's the judge, and I would argue that most of the judgments made in these injunction cases have been right, and nor versus they been biased. We saw that in the Rio Ferdinand case recently. The judges are quite ready to rule the other way, whether rightly or wrongly, wrongly in my opinion in that case, but they're quite ready to go either way, and that all this fuss from at least the tabloid end of the British press about these injunctions is bogus and convenient.

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