Financial & Legal News

High Court Judge stops Tweets!

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A High Court Judge has issued an injunction which is thought to be the first of its kind to specify social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Mr Justice Baker made the Order in the Court of Protection which deals with cases for people who may lack capacity to make certain decisions for themselves. The case concerned a lady who has been in a ‘minimally conscious state’ since 2003 after suffering swelling on the brain stem causing serious brain damage. The lady’s mother applied to the Court of Protection for an Order to withdraw nourishment, medical treatment and allow her to die with as much dignity as possible.

The Court had already granted an injunction banning the media from not only identifying any person involved in the case but also from contacting a list of 65 people connected with the case.

Court Injuction

Usually such injunctions would prevent identification of children and others involved by publication in the mainstream media. Recently, however, cases involving super injunctions banning the publication of stories about the private lives of celebrities have not prevent one anonymous Twitter user ‘Tweeting’ details of those who had allegedly obtained such injunctions.

The new Order in the Court of Protection singled out Twitter and Facebook with a specific ban on publishing information on the social media websites. The Courts will however, face difficulties in enforcing such Orders bearing in mind that Twitter and Facebook are US-based companies and therefore outside the English courts jurisdiction.

Contact Us

If you have been affected by either the publication of material on social media sites or elsewhere, or require advice on issues to be dealt with by the Court of Protection, please contact a member of Pearson Hinchliffe’s Litigation team who will be happy to discuss your individual case with you in more detail.

The author, Laura Pracy, is a litigation solicitor and can be contacted using the details provided below.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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