Was Hain Allowed to Use Parliamentary Privilege to Break Philip Green Injunction?

Peter Hain has heavily defended his use of Parliamentary Privilege to name Philip Green as the businessman behind the injunction against the Telegraph. But was he even allowed to do so?

Under a resolution on Parliamentary Privilege which the House of Lords adopted on 11 May 2000, Peers cannot use their Parliamentary Privilege to refer to any cases which are currently Sub judice – i.e. undergoing active legal proceedings – unless they have secured the approval of the Lords Speaker to do so at least 24 hours in advance. It also stipulates that “the exercise of the Speaker’s discretion may not be challenged in the House.” Did Hain seek formal approval from Lord Fowler in advance?

Additionally, the resolution sets out that the Lords Speaker should only grant permission for the Sub judice rule to be waived when, in their opinion, “a case concerns national importance such as the economy, public order or the essential services”. It may have covered the front pages but it is hard to argue that the Green case fell into any of these categories…

Hain is Paid Adviser to Telegraph’s Lawyers

Great scoop from our friends at Legal Cheek, spotting that Peter Hain is a paid adviser to Gordon Dadds, the law firm who are representing The Telegraph in their fight to overturn Philip Green’s injunctions. Now whatever your view of super-injunctions – Guido is against them – it is not a good idea for lawyers or those working for lawyers to break them. It is also a bad idea for parliamentarians to act in the clear interests of people who pay them within parliament. In fact it is against the rules. Arguably Hain has helped the firm he advises circumvent the injunction and fatally undermined its efficacy.

Hain did say when he used privilege that he had been “in contact with someone intimately involved in the case”:

Sounds like that could be a lawyer working on the case. Judges do not take kindly to this kind of shenanigans and there could be repurcussions for the Gordon Dadds firm if they are found to have conspired with Hain to breach the injunction…

UPDATE: Lord Hain has responded in a statement claiming he was “completely unaware” Gordon Dadds were advising the Telegraph:

“I took the decision to name Sir Philip Green in my personal capacity as an independent member of the House Of Lords. I categorically state that I was completely unaware Gordon Dadds were advising the Telegraph regarding this case. Gordon Dadds, a highly respected and reputable international law firm, played absolutely no part whatsoever in either the sourcing of my information or my independent decision to name Sir Philip. They were completely unaware of my intentions until after I spoke in the House of Lords”

Well, he would say that…

Friday Caption Contest (Greenery Edition)

Entries in the comments…

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Moment Hain Names Philip Green as #MeToo Super-Injunction Businessman

Peter Hain has used his parliamentary privilege to name Topshop boss Sir Philip Green in the House of Lords as the businessman with a super-injunction out against a new #MeToo scandal being reported. For those who didn’t get the “gags to riches” clue in The Sun’s headline this morning…

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