A hack's look at the law


A view of a sign at Greenwich Magistrates Court is pictured in south-east London, on July 10, 2008. Photo: Getty Images
Magistrates should be stripped of their powers to restrict court reporting
By David Banks - 08 December 10:44

Coverage of our courts is being censored - because magistrates are too quick to impose unnecessary reporting restrictions. In the interests of open justice, this has to stop.


A hearing room in the European Court of Human Rights. Photo: Getty Images
What has the Human Rights Act done for us? Quite a lot, as it turns out
By David Banks - 06 October 16:59

The European Court of Human Rights and the Human Rights Act have both done a huge amount of good for people in the UK.

Social media and the second Hillsborough inquest
By David Banks - 14 February 12:30

The depth of feeling that exists about the disaster and what came after is entirely understandable. The attorney general has a difficult task ahead deciding what consititutes contempt of court in this unique circumstance.

Pam Duggan (right), mother of Mark Duggan, with her son Marlon Duggan
The Mark Duggan verdict: why families often feel let down by the coroner system
By David Banks - 09 January 17:38

We expect too much of the inquest – they are inquisitorial, not adversarial, and cannot apportion blame.

What's the point of open justice if there isn't anyone to report it?
By David Banks - 07 January 14:57

Thanks to the dearth of court reporters, Nigella Lawson's trial is one of the few you will ever hear of.

New Statesman
Has the phone hacking trial created a new form of journalism?
By David Banks - 11 November 13:56

The idea that the democratisation of news means we are all journalists now is, sadly, a fantasy.

New Statesman
Should the Students' Union legally protect you from your own online persona?
By David Banks - 28 October 11:21

Today's student media are carved in the stone of web publication though, that is potentially permanent, and searchable. The Students' Union has a duty to protect the student body from the resulting fall-out.

We need a free press, not a calm, pretty one
By David Banks - 09 October 9:34

The cross-party plan for press regulation is unlikely to work, nor should we let it. Anyway, those proposing greater regulation of the press overestimate its influence and underestimate the good sense of their readers.