The most senior judge in England and Wales has attacked politicians who deliberately reveal the content of privacy cases covered by injunctions.
The Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge questioned whether it was a good idea for MPs and Lords to be "flouting a court order just because they disagree with a court order or for that matter because they disagree with the law of privacy which Parliament has created".
His comments, which will be seen by critics as an attempt to censor parliamentary proceedings, came at a launch of a major review of injunctions which found that reports of comments made by MPs and peers which set out to contravene court orders may be in contempt of court.
Lord Neuberger, the Master of the Rolls and the senior judge who chaired the inquiry, said the law surrounding the issue was "astonishingly unclear" which was "very unsatisfactory".
It comes after Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming recently highlighted two cases in Parliament. He asked in the House of Commons about an order obtained by former Royal Bank of Scotland chief Sir Fred Goodwin, which banned the media from calling him a banker, and about another order which banned a constituent from talking to his MP.
A gagging order obtained by Sir Fred was partially lifted by the High Court on Thursday after allegations that he had an affair were made public by a Liberal Democrat peer in the House of Lords. The move, which was not opposed by Sir Fred, came after Lord Stoneham of Droxford used parliamentary privilege to name him in relation to the alleged affair in the Lords.
Addressing the media at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London on Friday, Lord Judge said: "It is, of course, wonderful for you if a member of Parliament stands up in Parliament and says something which in effect means an order of the court on anonymity is breached.
"But you do need to think, do you not, whether it's a very good idea for our law makers to be flouting a court order just because they disagree with a court order or for that matter because they disagree with the law of privacy which Parliament has created. It's a very serious issue in my view.
"There has never been any question, in any of these orders, not in any single one of them, of the court challenging the sovereignty of parliament. That's not the issue. We are following the law, as best we understand it, at the level of the judiciary where the issues have been canvassed. Our constitutional arrangement have been based for centuries on mutual respect."
He added that senior judges would be holding talks with the speakers of the Commons and the Lords over the issue.