Sunday Herald Beats off Super-injunction Bid

The Sunday Herald has survived an attempt to prevent it reporting a dispute at Strathclyde University.

Says today's edition of the newspaper – on page 16 – lawyers acting for the university sought a super-injunction against the Sunday Herald, but failed to convince the judge, Lord Pentland.

The paper went on to report the dispute, alongside an article, headed: 'Sunday Herald beats off 'super-injunction' bid'.

Said the newspaper: “The super-injunction would not only have prevented the newspaper from reporting many of the facts surrounding the case, but it would have also banned us from reporting the gagging order itself.

“Legal bids of this nature have been controversial south of the border, where many media commentators and lawyers have expressed concern over what they see as attempts to impose a judge-made privacy law without recourse to Parliament.”

The Sunday Herald says that lawyers for Strathclyde University sought an interdict (the Scottish equivalent of an injunction) against it, despite the newspaper and the university agreeing the form of words on the dispute.

“However, the university wanted to go further and sought a permanent undertaking that the Sunday Herald would not return to the story at some point in future without giving advance notice of its intention to do so.”

The paper added: “The university also asked Lord Pentland at the Court of Session to prevent publication of any mention of the interdict itself. The judge dismissed the application for interdict and the attempt at a ‘super-injunction’ as unnecessary restrictions on responsible journalism.”

The paper's editor, Richard Walker, is quoted saying Lord Pentland’s decision was an ‘important victory’ for press freedom and a welcome departure from recent decisions in England, where super-injunctions are becoming more common.