The only fact the Guardian can report is that the case involves the London solicitors Carter-Ruck, who specialise in suing the media for clients, who include individuals or global corporations.
So this company Carter-Ruck is a litigation firm specializing in media law, international law, and commercial litigation.
Has anyone had experience with this company, or with British free speech law? There is so little detail here so far that I hesitate to speculate about what might be going on. But clearly, someone in Parliament has asked an embarrassing question, or one with a potentially damaging answer. Also clearly, this sort of government response is creepy and must be resisted with whatever vigor the British people can muster.
As writer Warren Ellis said on his site:
If it comes out that the Government were instrumental in having Carter-Ruck gag a national newspaper from reporting on Parliament, all hell will break loose. Christ, even if it turns out a single MP actually went out of his or her way to engage a legal firm against free reportage in Parliament...
Hell better break loose over this.
Thanks to all who've joined the conversation and added to it constructively. It looks as though the question at issue may be the one leaked onto http://order-order.com/ (Thanks, Scarce!). This is related to a case involving toxic waste dumped in 2006 in Côte d'Ivoire, in which the Trafigura corporation was named. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. Let's keep the conversation civil, shall we? We're all interested in freedom of information. So let's work together.
Morus has brought to my attention a Twitter campaign to make this story blow up. Go here for more info. I don't, um, tweet, but maybe you all do. Go to it, Kossacks!
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