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Allegations of various sorts of inappropriate behaviour were made by several employees of Philip Green. These claims were settled and the settlements included NDAs. There is no allegation that these NDAs were improperly obtained (i.e. proper legal advice was obtained by the employees).

The media were prevented from revealing Philip Green's name by an injunction. (I don't know how they found out about it, perhaps that is relevant). Lord Hain used parliamentary privilege to reveal that the stories were about Philip Green and consequently the press are now free to talk about it.

My question is: given that the NDAs were between the employees making the allegations and Philip Green on what basis did the courts prevent the media from revealing his name? They were not party to the NDAs so surely cannot be bound by their terms. Presumably I'm free to tell my friends if I think its Philip Green, what's the difference? Could he take out an injunction against me?

For the purposes of this question please ignore the rights and wrongs of the NDAs or the use of parliamentary privilege.

  • It's a current political topic, when looking at the topics of questions here and on the law site it seemed more similar to the questions here. You're quite right though that the fundamental question is legal in nature so perhaps it would be better suited there. I'm not sure what the etiquette is for moving or deleting and reposting but will flag for a mod to move. – Richard Oct 30 '18 at 10:34
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As far as I know, this was a preliminary injunction. In a case like this, if making a correct decision to grant an injunction or not would take long time, and it's likely that the damage would be done by the time of the injunction, a preliminary injunction can be granted with less careful checking of the evidence - there's not much damage if such an injunction is lifted a week later, but much damage could be prevented if the injunction is granted.

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It is difficult to be certain without seeing the judgement (which is not public for obvious reasons) but I suspect the relevant law is s9(1)(d) of the Defamation Act which allows injunctions to prevent the publication of defamatory statements. Presumably thee was sufficient doubt in the minds of the judges about the veracity of the allegations that they considered them to be defamatory.

The NDAs are irrelevant to this.

You are not free to tell your friends you think it’s any identifiable living person unless what you are telling them is true - objectivity true. And, yes, he could take out an injunction against you.

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    Note that the standard for "sufficient doubt" is pretty low. It is obviously much easier to publish information which was previously secret than it is to force everyone to forget about information which was previously published. The injunction in question was an interim injunction prior to a full hearing. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Oct 30 '18 at 12:46
  • Thanks, so if this is case then the injunction is to do with whether what the media was going to publish was true or not and whether their sources are under NDA or not is irrelevant. As it was an interim injunction the courts may have not decided whether the allegations were true or not, only that they needed time to decided? Are there any other possible grounds for the injunction? – Richard Nov 1 '18 at 8:16

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