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"Spycatcher"

Volume 129: debated on Thursday 10 March 1988

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To ask the Attorney-General if he will bring up to date the information provided in his answer to the hon. Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks) on 22 October 1987, Official Report, column 839, on legal actions in respect of "Spycatcher"; and if he will provide details in the same form in respect of Mr. Anthony Cavendish's memoirs.

Spycatcher

The High Court of Australia has today reserved judgment in the Government's appeal in the action brought against Heinemann (Australia) and Mr. Peter Wright. The total amount of costs expended to date by the Government in these proceedings is about £485,000.

In England and Wales the House of Lords will hear on 7 June the Government's appeal in the action brought against The Guardian, The Observer and The Sunday Times newspapers. The total amount of costs expended to date by the Government in these proceedings is about £43,000.

In New Zealand the Court of Appeal has reserved judgment in the Government's appeal in the action brought against The Dominion newspaper. The total amount of costs expended to date by the Government in these proceedings is about £74,000.
In Hong Kong an interim injunction was obtained last August against The South China Morning Post newspaper. No date for the hearing of the substantive action has yet been set. The total amount of costs expended to date by the Government in these proceedings is about £1,200.

Cavendish

In England and Wales interim injunctions were obtained in January against The Observer and The Sunday Times newspapers, and later varied, to restrain the publication of material from Mr. Cavendish.
In the same month in Scotland an interim interdict to the same effect was obtained against The Scotsman newspaper, but later recalled. A fresh application for an interim interdict failed, and the Government's appeal against that refusal is due to be heard on 15 March.
To date no costs have been expended by the Government in these proceedings.