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Privacy Commission Day 3, Witness 1: Sir Charles Gray

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George South | 17:00 UK time, Monday, 20 June 2011

Sir Charles Gray

Giving evidence to the Privacy Commission on today's PM is Sir Charles Gray, QC, who as a barrister and formerly as a judge, has been involved in numerous cases relating to confidentiality and the media.

Full audio and transcript here


  • Comment number 1.

    From Tuesday 7th June to today, there have been a total of 7 comment threads posted on the PM Blog, all of which have been related to the 'Privacy Commission'. My own post aside, the 7 threads have attracted a total of 21 comments from 12 individual contrubutors.

    Now that's how to properly kill off interactivity!

  • Comment number 2.

    I am sure that Judges carefully consider the law on privacy, but as a taxpayer I consider that a banker who has cost us very substantial sums, who is the happy recipient of a huge pension and who was having an affair with a member of his staff whilst the bank failed, is not entitled to such protection.

  • Comment number 3.

    Perhaps we are not using the comment spaces correctly I am typing a comment whenever a space shows up I cannot credit the poor number of responses I cannot credit that with experiences of MPs expensive rackets the Financial Authorities have not forced the banks to disclose who paid for the injunctions?
    Can the Establishment prevent disclosure on the number of Ministries paying rent to off-shore landlords by simple gagging injunction. I am so inept I cannot find my own previous comments.
    I do not think that those who have been gagged can afford to have a Twitter account.

  • Comment number 4.

    One area we all seem agreed about is this. If it is against the national interest for some matter to become public, it shouldn't.
    Except that what the national interest is, often isn't clear.
    Can DA notices be challenged in the courts to disute what the national intrest is? They have been extended to wikileaks etc so national interest can be very loosely defined.

    One current area of interest is the motivation of the US and UK in Afghanistan and Libya. Apparently it is commonplace in Westminster that we are encouraging locals there to fight - against the Taliban and Gaddafi - telling them our hi-tech weaponry will let them win, when we we know it won't.

  • Comment number 5.

    We are thus threatening the lives of ordinary civilians. It is also widely opined that democracy in Libya must resemble what, anywhere else, we would call a Western client state. There have been attempts to report these discussions but the willingness of these civilian populations to risk their lives is regarded as a UK national asset, any open dicsuccion of which would be...against UK national interest since it could weaken the resolve of the people comprising the asset.

  • Comment number 6.

    Herein lies a problem your panel will be able to deal with: I certainly need their help with it. For whereas generalisations may be sufficient usually ('a footballer', 'a politician' 'a political journalist' 'an affair' 'an incurable illness' etc) in this case no generalisation will capture the case without revealing what the specifics are. So that the very construct 'national interest' disallows public revelation, indeed of any discussion about the matter which must remain in the private domain of Whitehall politicians, military, intelligence and strategists.

  • Comment number 7.

    Equally our believing that the apearance of democracy is more important than the fact, may, it is held, encourage forces against our national interest - the development of democracy where we prefer compliance with the West.

  • Comment number 8.

    Re: #1 The Intermittent Horse,

    I think we have to accept that the blog isn't what it was, possibly due to moderation issues etc..

    It upset me too at first, however it seems that all of the interactivity across other BBC Blogs which involves moderation is being reduced.

  • Comment number 9.

    gagged1980 (3) If you click on your name - or rather the blue "you" that appears in its place, you will see a list of all your comments.

  • Comment number 10.

    Intermittent Horse (1) Are listeners still being encouraged to contribute to the PM Blog? I've heard several requests to send comments by e-mail...
    It seems to me that the programme's use of the blog is now one-dimensional - for information only!

  • Comment number 11.

    Gillianian Thanks, I have ceased to care about how inept I seem
    I wish some practical contributor like you or Jonnie or oldavenger would consider as list of what we have learned from The Actor,The Escort,The Publicist, The Editors The MPs, Max Molsey i.e. how did each of them define an injunction?
    Anyone gagged by a High Court injunction is more private than if they were under house arrest.

  • Comment number 12.

    John Kampfner's statement reads like a fairy story!
    How many scenarios has he witnessed in camera?
    Does he really believe that the injunctions are re-examined within hours?
    What does he think hampers the authorities from enquiring into Sir F.G's Pension!
    Why spend £x thousand if it only lasts hours?

  • Comment number 13.

    How many witnesses have actually handled an injunction?
    It resembles The Emperors New Clothes
    I suspect that each and every witness could not give a factual description of an injunction, poduce a copy of one, or do more than repeat some of the expensive legal advise they have received from time to time?
    How else do the publicits and lawyers make their fees?


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