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Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

Right to be forgotten ruling branded a criminals charter

Press release
Release date: 23 April 2018

Right to be forgotten victory against Google branded ‘a charter for criminals to cover up their past’ by Chartered Institute of Journalists.

The Chartered Institute of Journalists says the High Court decision to grant ‘right to be forgotten’ rights to a businessmen convicted of a criminal offence and jailed for six months will open the floodgates for people who want to force Google to cover up their past wrongdoing.

Mr Justice Warby gave the businessman known as ‘NT2’ full anonymity and ordered Google to de-list published news reports about his conviction by its Internet Search Engine on Friday 13th April.

Institute Vice-President Professor Tim Crook says: “This is a charter for convicted criminals to erase public access to information of their careers in crime. It will open the floodgates.”

He added: “There is a risk that convicted sex offenders, including rapists, and killers (for manslaughter) who have served prison sentences of 4 years or less are now in a position to go to the High Court anonymously and sue Google to de-list them from court reports of their convictions and sentences.

“De-listing from on-line postings by legitimate news publishers means journalism will lose the index of its public record.

“The Institute fears that with so much of everyday journalism going on-line, this largely secret process of erasure means that the whole point of trying people in public will be undermined.’

“This is a massive blow to freedom of expression and the everyday on-line record of crime and punishment.”



The CIoJ is the world’s longest standing professional association of journalists.

The ruling by Mr Justice Warby is available at: