Friday, June 18, 2010

May newspapers publish the whereabouts of released rapists? Murray v. Newsgroup Newspapers interlocutory decision handed down

The High Court (Irvine J.) today gave an interlocutory judgment in the important case of convicted rapist Michael Murray who is seeking to restrain newspapers from publishing his photograph or details of his whereabouts. The case follows extensive publicity given to him post-release (e.g.) which he claims is threatening his safety and jeopardising his rehabilitation.

Today's judgment refuses to grant an interlocutory injunction which would restrain the newspapers pending a full trial - significantly noting that there is a "public interest in being informed of the identity and whereabouts of a convicted criminal who may pose a risk to the community" (p.59). The Northern Irish decision in the similar case of Callaghan v. Independent News and Media was distinguished as involving a criminal who posed a lesser threat to the community and who faced a greater risk of being physically attacked once his identity was known.

Full text of judgment:

Murray v. Newsgroup Newspapers and others

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