The role of journalists in the reporting and investigation of civil litigation

Bankside Chambers recently hosted a discussion between members of Chambers and Victoria Young of NBR on the role of journalists in the reporting and investigation of civil litigation, and in writing about the operation of the legal system more generally. Victoria recently returned to NBR after a period in London working for the publication Legal Business. Among the topics traversed were the advantages and risks, and the propriety, of lawyers briefing journalists about upcoming and ongoing litigation, and issues concerning journalists’ access to court files and to submissions made in court. Good journalism has a role not just in informing the wider public of the facts and personalities involved in commercial disputes, and in litigation brought by and against governmental agencies. It also has a part to play in assisting the legal profession itself understand topical issues in the law and the provision of legal services, and in promoting debate around issues of law reform.