The Oxford Mail has republished a courts round up from three years ago after the article was removed from Google search results following a so-called right to be forgotten request.
The daily Newsquest title republished its Scales of Justice list of Oxford Magistrates Court cases from October 2011 arguing that: “Open justice is a cornerstone of the British justice system and the Oxford Mail believes the public has a right to know who has been convicted of crimes.”
The paper said it believed the article was removed by Google because of a single complaint which had resulted in the removal of 20 cases from Google searches.
Two months ago, the House of Lords Home Affairs, health and Education EU Sub-Committee described the right to be forgotten, which stems from a ruling by Court of Justice of the European Union, as “wrong in principle” and has created “an unworkable and unreasonable situation.”
The Committee’s report said that it had heard evidence from data protection experts, the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Minister for Justice and Civil Liberties, Simon Hughes, and Google.
The report continued: “The Committee applauds the UK Government’s stance on the issue, and agrees that it must continue to fight to ensure that the updated Regulation no longer includes any provision on the lines of the Commission’s ‘right to be forgotten’ or the European Parliament’s ‘right to erasure.'”
The Society of Editors wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron over the issue describing the ruling as “deeply problematic for journalism” and called for greater transparency about the actions of search engines to comply with the ruling.
Some other local and regional newspapers such as the Surrey Comet and Bolton News have responded to the developments by prominently reporting on attempts to have their stories removed from search engine lists.