You may have heard the term "super-injunction"
bandied about a bit, especially in the UK. We thought we'd
explain what it is.
Our courts have wide powers to make orders which suppress
information, including people's identities. These orders
prevent publication of that information, particularly by the media.
They're used regularly for example in cases involving children.
They've also become very common (in our view, way too common)
to protect parties to court proceedings from embarrassment.
In the UK, this practice has gotten way out of hand. Celebrities
frequently obtain injunctions to prevent their names being
published, for example when they're involved in cases where
they've been accused of having affairs. This has gone one extra
step in numerous cases, which is where the
"super-injunction" comes in. That is an order not just
that the information can't be published, but also that the
order itself can't be mentioned. That is, the media can't
even report that the court has ordered it not to publish certain
information. The result of that is that we don't ever find out
that the order was even made.
In a free country where freedom of speech and press are
considered important, this is pretty drastic and actually a bit
Anyway, we're not aware of any super-injunctions having been
issued in Australia yet, but of course if they have been we
wouldn't know.Gina Reinhart tried to get one, but failed. We
also know that a major law firm, currently being sued by a former
lawyer for sexual harassment, victimisation and defamation,
recently applied for a super-injunction in relation to some
individuals named in the case. They got a suppression order for the
names, but in the end didn't press for a super-injunction.
Which is why we can mention it at all.
So that's what a super-injunction is - it's out there
but you'll never know it.
We do not disclaim anything about this article. We're
quite proud of it really.
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