Carter-Ruck is a British legal representation firm which was founded by Peter Carter-Ruck. It specializes in international law, privacy, commercial disputes, and libel.
After Peter Carter-Ruck failed to put an end to the Guardian reporting a Member of Parliament posting an inquiry about Trafigura and the injunction concerning the Minton report, Carter-Ruck attempted to block Parliament. His law company produced a three-page letter to the House of Commons speaker. It was in the central part of the letter where the following paragraphs took place:
“Until that resolution, it is not appropriate to comment on the Order, other than to make it clear that we and our clients are in no doubt that it was entirely appropriate for us to seek the injunctive relief in question …
The question of whether this matter is sub judice is entirely a matter for your discretion, although we would observe that we believe the proceedings to have been and to remain “Active” within the definition of House Resolution CJ (2001-02) 194-195 of 15 November 2001 in that arrangements have been made for the hearing of an application before the Court.”
And this is the resolution in question:
“Matters sub judice
Resolution of 15th November 2001
Resolved, That, subject to the discretion of the Chair, and to the right of the House to legislate on any matter or to discuss any delegated legislation, the House in all its proceedings (including proceedings of committees of the House) shall apply the following rules on matters sub judice:
(1) Cases in which proceedings are active in United Kingdom courts shall not be referred to in any motion, debate, or question.
(b) (i) Civil proceedings are active when arrangements for the hearing, such as setting down a case for trial, have been made until the proceedings are ended by judgment or discontinuance.
In not so many words, lawyering up behind their words, the firm suggested that this matter should not be subject to discussion in Parliament. It is sub judice they address this matter to the speaker.
Peter Carter-Ruck addresses another matter in the same letter:
“… there has never been any question of Trafigura applying for an injunction that had as its purpose the prevention of publication of any matter arising in Parliament.”
Certainly not. Luckily, this resolution is a subject to be discussed under the discretion of the Chair. It would be wise to assume that his discretion right will be exercised properly.