Last night at about 8:30, the Guardian's website published this article by one of its star investigative reporters, David Leigh.
Leigh's piece contained this.
Today's published Commons order papers contain a question to be answered by a minister later this week. The Guardian is prevented from identifying the MP who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, or where the question is to be found.
The Guardian is also forbidden from telling its readers why the paper is prevented – for the first time in memory – from reporting parliament. Legal obstacles, which cannot be identified, involve proceedings, which cannot be mentioned, on behalf of a client who must remain secret.
The only fact the Guardian can report is that the case involves the London solicitors Carter-Ruck who specialise in suing the media for clients, who include individuals or global corporations.
By the time the Rambler went to bed, the internet was glowing with this story. Indeed within a couple of hours of the Guardian's publication on of my tweeters had sent me a link to the Order Paper that Carter-Ruck had injuncted.
It turned out to this question put down by Labour M.P. Paul Farrelly to the Justice Secretary, Jack Straw.
"To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation to protect (a) whistleblowers and (b) press freedom following the injunctions obtained in the High Court by (i) Barclays and Freshfields solicitors on 19 March 2009 on the publication of internal Barclays reports documenting alleged tax avoidance schemes and (ii) Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors on 11 September 2009 on the publication of the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura.
It was clear what the original Guardian article was about, but less clear why Carter Ruck had acted to prevent its publication.
This morning my Tweetdeck was full of the Trafigura story. Hashtag #carterruck, #trafigura, or #wikileaks, and not only were you provided with Farrelly's question, which in itself would have made Carter-Ruck's application for relief more difficult, but the full text of the damning "Minton Report on Wikileaks.
I'm sure Carter-Ruck had foreseen the internet response to their gagging order and the effect of that on their inter- partes application before the court this afternoon. To ask the court to grant further injunctive relief when the information they want kept secret was already in the very-public domain, would have been a hard ask.
Not surprisingly Carter-Ruck withdrew its opposition to the Guardian's application to publish. You can read Leigh's report here . Trafiguras' behaviour may have had one large unforeseen result for them. The injunction of the "Minton Report" on the dumping of the toxic waste is now well and truly published. You can see it, and its devastating conclusions here.
Update 15:50. Wikileaks- Trafigura threats to Norwegian press over Minton Report exposing toxic dumping.