It's been a bad week for…

Lawyers hoping to make use of email records to prove dodgy activity. Executives looking to cover their tracks have seen a preview of a new product that can make a company's email simply disappear. Corporate managers can use the technology developed by Disappearing Inc to set up email policies on company networks that routinely destroy potentially incriminating emails on servers and backup systems. Disappearing Inc's CEO said: "Email is actually very dangerous right now because private, casual email conversations frequently become permanent public records."

Jack "never minded going back on his word" Straw, who may be forced to renege on his promise to a certain former dictator that the report on the Chilean's health would not be made public. Jonathan Sumption QC reluctantly admitted in the High Court that, "if your Lordships hold that there is an overriding public interest in [disclosing the report], then we will do so".

Lord Irvine, who may have to give up one of his many public hats after a judgment on the case of a flower grower by the European Court of Human Rights. The court ruled that a Guernsey gardener who had been refused planning permission was denied a fair hearing when his appeal was heard by a judge who also presided over the the island's legislature. The ruling could mean that the Lord Chancellor, who sits as a judge as well as a member of the Government, may have to give up acting as a judge in the House of Lords.

Insurance companies that are being sued by US cigarette manufacturer Liggett which is seeking to recover its bill for compensating smokers. Liggett and tobacco giants British American Tobacco and Philip Morris have been facing huge damages claims in the US courts. Liggett's suit could start a flood of similar actions against US and UK insurers.