On the media: celebrities, super-injunctions and phone hacking

Talk June 15, 2011 7:00 PM

When more details about the News of the World phone hacking scandal were revealed earlier this year, there were calls for greater regulation of the press. At least 90 well known public figures allegedly had their voicemails listened to by journalists at the paper, prompting a discussion about celebrities’ right to privacy.

At the same time, the use of super-injunctions (or ‘gagging orders’) by celebrities to stop the press revealing details about scandals has also been called in to question. The issue, which has been debated heavily in the past, flared up again when details of celebrities who had allegedly taken out super-injunctions were posted on Twitter in May.

Some say super-injunctions are necessary to protect the private lives of public figures, but others argue they are an example of discriminatory justice used predominantly by men who are rich and famous.

Join us at the Frontline Club where we will be focusing on issues of privacy, justice and journalistic ethics and asking if  the current system of law and regulation is – or is not – in need of reform.

Chaired by Clive Coleman, BBC Legal Affairs Correspondent.


William Bennett, a barrister who specialises in defamation and privacy law.  He is based at 5RB, the leading media law chambers;

David Allen Green, a lawyer and writer.  He is head of media at Preiskel & Co and was selected as one of the “Hot 100 Lawyers” for 2011 by The Lawyer.  He is also legal correspondent of the New Statesman and was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize in 2010 for his “Jack of Kent” blog;

David Aaronovitch, writer, broadcaster, commentator and regular columnist for The Times;

Peter Oborne, the Daily Telegraph’s chief political commentator.

In association with BBC College of Journalism.