By Steven | December 12, 2009
Tiger Woods has obtained an injunction against the publication of some private details in the UK. Media lawyer Mark Stephens suggests that it concerns information that’s being freely reported in the US.
If that’s so, the injunction seems futile, and therefore legally unjustifiable.
It also seems strategically dopey. It can only serve to achieve something I had thought impossible: to increase the degree of interest in Woods’ affairs.
It also seems inconsistent with Justice Eady’s decision when Max Mosley sought an injunction against the continuing publications of the sex orgy videos. Justice Eady held that these were already too widely available to justify an injunction. (This makes me wonder whether the injunction actually concerns details that aren’t yet widely available. Or it may be an interim injunction, pending a more fulsome argument in the near future).
Whatever the case, it seems ill-advised. Still, it’s a nice Christmas present for the British media’s campaign to reform the UK’s libel laws, which have already received recent fillips from Index on Censorship, Justice secretary Jack Straw, and Lord Lester.
UPDATE: The injunction (in favour of one “Eldrick Tont Woods”) is here. It relates to images of Woods naked or having sex. I don’t think any such images are yet freely available. In fact, Woods’ lawyers don’t accept that any such photos necessarily exist, and express concern that any that surface may be faked.
It’s not a “super-injunction” so the fact of the injunction is allowed to be discussed. It is a John Doe order, against unspecified defendants. It provides for anyone served with a copy to apply to the court to vary it on 2 days’ notice. Obviously, it only applies in the UK.
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