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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Howard Jones BS: 'Sir' Philip Green (298* d) RE: BS: 'Sir' Philip Green 30 Oct 18

"Peter Hain has simply named Green. He has not prejudiced any future trial by doing that." He may not have prejudiced any future criminal trial, but he has undermined a civil trial. We should be worried whenever peers or MPs interfere with the legal process.

Parliamentary privilege is an important freedom, but the Speaker of the House of Lords as said that "as parliamentarians we should be keen to respect the proper business of the courts, just as we expect the courts to respect the authority of parliament. In particular, we should be careful that in exercising our undoubted right to free speech in parliament we do not set ourselves in conflict with the courts or seek to supplant them".

It is very likely that these or similar allegations against Green would have emerged very soon. Apart from the possibility that a court case might have agreed to allow publication by the Telegraph, a new biography makes similar allegations of bullying and harassment (presumably from sources who can't be injuncted). So it's hard to see what Hain has achieved apart from breaking the news a few days earlier than might otherwise have happened, and perhaps denying the courts an opportunity to clarify the law in this area.

If the court had decided in Green's favour and given him permanent anonymity, Hain might then have had a stronger moral justification for then naming him. He could still be seen to supplant the court and could be said to be abusing parliamentary privilege in doing so, but at least he would have allowed the legal process to run its course before challenging it.

As I said in a previous post, this is not about defending Green. I'm not the least concerned that these allegations about him have become public, only the manner in which they have emerged.

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