Tag Archives: #carterruck

Evan secures Parliamentary debate on Trafigura and libel laws

Lib Dem MP Evan Harris has secured a debate on libel law and the reporting of Parliamentary proceedings following Carter Ruck’s attempts last week to gag The Guardian from reporting details of a Parliamentary Question concerning Trafigura’s activities. (You can catch-up on LDV’s reporting of the issue here.)

The debate will take place today in Parliament’s Westminster Hall today, 21st October, from 2.30-4pm.

Explaining the purpose behind the debate, Evan says:

There is a lot of concern in Parliament and in the media over the impact of English law on freedom of expression, but the people who should be

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#Trafigura – the Hansard transcript

Astute readers may have noticed one or two mentions on the site yesterday concerning Trafigura, its lawyers Carter Ruck, and their attempts to impose a gagging junction on The Guardian preventing the reporting of Parliamentary proceedings.

Not only was the issue promptly picked up by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, but two of the party’s MPs, David Heath and Paul Burstow, were also quick off the mark in pledging to ask questions in the House of Commons – an action which, as Alix Mortimer has remarked, was perhaps decisive in forcing Trafigura to back down.

So here for your delectation is the Hansard transcript of the Commons’ exchanges which took place yestrday afternoon, starting with the Labour MP whose question sparked the whole farrago:

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Let’s all say “Thank you” to #Trafigura with a postcard

As Helen Duffett already blogged earlier today on Lib Dem Voice, a combination of the Guardian’s legal team and Twitter users worldwide combined today to restore some element of common-sense to the law – allowing the media to report a Parliamentary question tabled by Paul Farrelly asking about the publication of the Minton Report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura.

LDV trafigura TYIn one sense, Trafigura and its lawyers Carter Ruck behaved shamefully in attempting to gag newspapers from reporting on Parliamentary proceedings. But in another, more profound, sense we should be grateful. As a result of their cack-handed attempts to silence The Guardian, hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of people now know about the serious allegations against Trafigura. Quite simply, this would not have been possible without the active role played by Trafigura and Carter Ruck.

It seems entirely appropriate, therefore, to say thank you to Trafigura for its role in exposing the company to far greater reputational risk than could have ever been achieved by one article published in a single newspaper.

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Heath and Burstow table urgent Commons questions about Guardian injunction #Trafigura #CarterRuck

The Lib Dem press office has just issued the following news release:

In light of the injunction against the Guardian featured on its front page today, the Lib Dems have this morning requested an Urgent Question and debate on the reporting of parliamentary proceedings. My understanding is the Speaker will decide after midday today if he is happy to allow these to proceed. If this were to happen, the question would be asked this afternoon and the debate would take place tomorrow.

UQ – David Heath
I would be grateful if you would give consideration to the following Urgent Question to

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Nick Clegg tweets about #trafigura (and #CarterRuck)

Nick Clegg (or at least his office) has just tweeted the following:

Very interested concerned about this #trafigura / Guardian story the @LibDems are planning to take action on this

If you’re not on Twitter – where #trafigura is now the top-trending topic – then this post from Rob Fenwick will give you the astonishing background: namely that libel law specialists Carter-Ruck have succeeded in slapping an injunction on the Guardian preventing the newspaper from reporting the following question tabled in Parliament:

Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made

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