A court has banned the BBC from broadcasting a film about last summer’s riots. The film, about the experiences of rioters during the disturbances, was due to be broadcast on BBC2.
The two part series is a dramatisation based on the testimony of interviews conducted for the Guardian and London School of Economics research into the disorder. It features actors who play anonymous rioters speaking about their experiences of the riots last August.
In a blog posted before the film was pulled, a BBC producer on the project said that using the important and illuminating interviews in the drama would provide insight into why and how the riots had happened .
The BBC did not give details about the nature of the court order.
Update: Murder trial judge banned documentary over possible issues of sub judice
20th July 2012. See article from guardian.co.uk
A judge prevented the BBC from broadcasting two documentaries about last summer’s riots without having watched the films — and later prevented the media from reporting his injunction.
Mr Justice Flaux, who was presiding over the murder trial of eight men who were acquitted at Birmingham crown court on Thursday, made the injunction on the grounds that the film raised issues which echoed arguments put before his jury.
He used an unusual power under section 45 of the Senior Courts Act 1981, which in some circumstances grants crown court judges the same powers as those used by the high court, to prevent the film from being broadcast.
The BBC and Guardian had sought to challenge the ruling, on the grounds that the films made no reference to the case being considered by the jury and did not even mention rioting in Birmingham.
However, the judge rejected the appeal, saying the films touched on issues related to his case, and if he were to allow the films to be broadcast, jurors could potentially have social contact with others who watched the programmes.
The end of the trial rendered the orders redundant.