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Not a rubber stamp

"I BELIEVE the attitude of 'blanket the lot of them' stems from a culture of routine," said Judge Henry Pownall at the Old Bailey on 2 July. He was refusing a City of London Police demand to seize journalists' films, notes and tapes from the events in the City on June 18. Such demands should not be seen as "routine requests for judicial rubber stamp".

The Guardian, Independent, Times, Reuters, BBC, ITN, Channel 4 News and Sky TV mounted a more robust and forthright defence of the freedom and independence of the press than has sometimes been the case - against a much wider writ. We await with great interest future decisions, by judges who must be acutely aware of the implications of the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law. Evidence that 30 police photographers were present may also have contributed to this judgement.


Jul/Aug 1999
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