There is a lot in the UK news recently about court Injunctions which prevent media reports, to protect the privacy of some party. There are also so called "Super Injunctions" where the media are not even allowed to report the existence of the injunction. (BBC Q & A on injunctions and super injuctions)


  1. Basically, how do the courts publicise these injunctions to media agencies without inadvertently defeating the point of the injunctions?

Contempt of court is a serious offence - but I have never understood how these can be worked.

  1. Is there some sort of closed channel for established media agencies where these are distributed?

  2. How does a small scale publisher (for example an individual gossip blogger) get access to these injunctions to make sure they're not in breach?

  3. What is to stop any member of the public registering as a blogger/publisher - just to gain access to the injunction details for the purpose of learning the very details the injunction aims to keep private (ie - the name of the party seeking the injunction)

1 Answer 1


You have to be served; you cannot be in contempt of court unknowingly.

Law of service is its own speciality but in general, the onus is on the beneficiary of the injunction (i.e. the person that applied for it) to get it to the person who is restricted by it. Such a requirement is not necessary if the injuncted person knows about the injunction, for example, by being a party to the hearing where it was issued.

  • So to clarify, anyone who is ignorant of the injunction isn't bound by it? Presumably the beneficiary's layers or representatives might chose to distribute the injunction to major news agencies, knowing they will respect it, or keep it quiet, so as not to draw any further attention to what is presumably a private matter?
    – Andrew M
    May 10, 2016 at 12:58

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