Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Catching up with Press Regulation


The Privy Council has rejected a draft Royal Charter put forward by the Press.  Their reasons for doing this are in a letter dated 8th October 2013.  Maria Miller MP made a statement to the House of Commons - The Guardian 8th October.  Miller's statement indicates that a revised cross party charter will be laid before Parliament by Friday 11th October and the Privy Council will consider it on 30th October.

On Thursday 10th October, the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee is to hear evidence from Sir Brian Leveson (now President of the Queen's Bench Division) who, as Lord Justice Leveson, was Chairman of the Inquiry into the Culture, Practices and Ethics  of the Press.

A summary of  Sir Brian's key recommendations is here.   The idea of a Royal Charter
on Press regulation was not considered at his inquiry and is not, for that reason, in his report.  Update: The Guardian 10th October - Leveson distances himself from Royal Charter

According to The Guardian 9th October, Sir Brian is facing a standoff with MPs after he repeatedly refused to be drawn into the debate on press reform in evidence to a Lords committee.

From the outset, Press Regulation was bound to be controversial and politically difficult and the idea of a Royal Charter emerged from political discussions. Not surprisingly for a serving judge, Sir Brian argues that it would be "absolutely inappropriate" for him to enter the debate.  It is for politicians to decide on, and take responsibility for, their response to this, largely self-explanatory, report..

Sir Brian has been giving evidence to a separate Select Committee on the Inquiries Act 2005.  Notes of his evidence on 9th October are available via The Guardian.


Sir Brian has recently been appointed President of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court and is referred to as Sir Brian Leveson P.   Mr Robert Jay QC, counsel to the Leveson Inquiry, was appointed a High Court Judge.

Earlier posts:

21st March 2013 - Regulation of the Press - (1)

25th March 2013 - Regulation of the Press - (2)

6th May 2013 - Regulation of the Media - alternative draft for a Royal Charter

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