"The rhetoric of the English legal system is that justice must be seen to be done so why are the public forbidden – under threat of jail – from recording a verbatim account of proceedings? Not only that, rules are so opaque and obscure that court reporters struggle to report cases with any degree of accuracy or depth. And that is when there is a reporter in court, which these days is a rarity – there used to be 25 reporters covering national courts for the Press Association; by 2009 there were only four. ... The simple answer is to allow tape recorders for all: no party is disadvantaged and an ‘official’ recording is there for checking."
"[There] is a fear among some historians that the expected treasure trove of policy documents and correspondence between ministers might not be worth the paper it is printed on. ... In place of candid policy briefings, indiscreet notes and full and frank minutes, of the kind that have shed so much light on previous eras, they fear the official record of what is going on in government today will be a succession of bland statements of the obvious and uncontroversial. The reason for this, they fear, is that ministers and officials are so worried about leaks to newspaper and premature disclosure through the Freedom of Information Act that they have simply stopped writing things down."
Jo Glanville: "More than 50 years since Anthony Eden invaded Egypt, there are still documents which Whitehall refuses to release."
"One worrying aspect of this case is that the jury convicted. There has been a historic reluctance of juries to convict in OSA cases, because they tend to sympathise with the defendants and not with the draconian legislation."
Two men have been covicted under the official secrets act for leaking a memo. But newspapers are not allowed to link their reporting of the case to the contents of the memo, which is already in the public domain. WWGD?