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Privacy Law: Journalist admits he used superinjunction to protect his privacy

BBC presenter Andrew Marr has joined the leagues of the rich and famous taking out what are now commonly known as 'superinjunctions'.

The so-called 'rich man's gag' has been criticised frequently over the past few years, as more and more people - more often than not celebrities and sports personalities - have made us of the injunctions to protect their privacy.

Superinjunctions are typically used by people to stop the media from publishing information about them which they say is damaging to their reputation or otherwise threatens their rights to privacy.

The injunctions are called superinjunctions because they not only prohibit the publishing of that information, but they also prohibit the publishing of the very fact of the injunction being obtained.

Marr has reported feeling "uneasy" and "embarrassed" about having obtained the order. However, he says it was necessary in order to protect his family's privacy.

The injunction was obtained back in 2008 when he sought, in the High Court, to suppress media publication of his extramarital affair.

However, the existence of his superinjunction has recently come to light after Private Eye editor Ian Hislop challenged the Marr injunction last week. Mr Hislop targeted Mr Marr, in particular, because Marr is a journalist himself and has in fact written articles arguing that the protection of privacy is a matter for Parliament and not for the courts.

Hislop said, "As a leading BBC interviewer who is asking politicians about failures in judgment, failures in their private lives, inconsistencies, it was pretty rank of him to have an injunction while working as an active journalist", reports the Guardian.

The hypocrisy of Marr's use of the superinjunction did not evade him. Marr told the Daily Mail, "I did not come into journalism to go around gagging journalists. Am I embarrassed by it? Yes. Am I uneasy about it? Yes."

Marr has said that he would no longer seek to suppress public knowledge of the superinjunction in relation to his extramarital affair. Hislop is pleased with the outcome.

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