Media Regulation: A Radical New Proposal, Part 2, More Reform Options – Hugh Tomlinson QC

30 09 2011

The first part of this post raised the question as to what should replace the PCC, outlining the first three of the seven options recently suggested by Martin Moore.  In this post I will deal with options four to seven.  In the third post in the series I will suggest an “option eight” – a regulatory proposal which is voluntary but with teeth and which also seeks to deal with some of the problems identified by the libel reform and other campaigners. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: Ferdinand v MGN – a “Kiss n’ Tell” public interest defence succeeds – Lorna Skinner

29 09 2011

Judgment was handed down today in the case of Ferdinand v Mirror Group Newspapers ([2011] EWHC 2454 (QB)).   In the first “misuse of private information” trial against a newspaper since Max Mosley in 2008, Mr Justice Nicol dismissed a claim brough by England footballer Rio Ferdinand against the “Sunday Mirror”. Read the rest of this entry »





Media Regulation: A Radical New Proposal – Part 1, Reform Options – Hugh Tomlinson QC

29 09 2011

As many commentators have pointed out, the British press is not subject to regulation in the ordinary sense.  It must, of course, operate within the civil and criminal law but the so-called system of “self-regulation” through the Press Complaints Commission is not “regulation” at all.  Those newspapers and magazines which participate have agreed a code of practice and set up a complaints system.  The system is one of mediation, not regulation. Read the rest of this entry »





News: Leveson Inquiry – press application to expand the panel, future seminars

28 09 2011

Lord Justice Leveson today heard an application by Associated Newspapers Limited, the publishers of the “Daily Mail”, concerning the composition of his advisory panel.  Concerns were expressed that these individuals lacked tabloid or regional newspaper experience.  The application was supported by Trinity Mirror Limited, the Newspaper Publishers’ Association, and Guardian News and Media Limited. Read the rest of this entry »





Hacked off at the Labour Conference and why a professional registry of journalists is a bad idea – Martin Moore

28 09 2011

Politicians are a strange breed. One minute they are nodding and agreeing with you, and the next they say something which goes so against what you just said you wonder if they were listening at all. Ivan Lewis, shadow culture secretary, in his Labour Conference speech yesterday suggested that the news industry ought to consider registering journalists such that they could be ‘struck off’ if they committed a serious offence. Read the rest of this entry »





Opinion: “The end of juries of defamation trials?” – Jaron Lewis

27 09 2011

In an English defamation action there is a statutory presumption that there will be a jury trial, rather than a trial by judge alone.  This originally applied to all cases at common law but is now confined to a small range of claims, including libel and slander.  This right is now found in section 69(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981: Read the rest of this entry »





News: Max Mosley – Grand Chamber refuses to rehear “pre notification” application

26 09 2011

The Court of Human Rights has rejected Max Mosley’s request to refer his case against the United Kingdom to the Grand Chamber.  On 10 May 2011, Mr Mosley was unsuccessful in his long running campaign to compel the English press to give advance notice of threatened invasions of privacy. Read the rest of this entry »





Law and Media Round Up – 26 September 2011

26 09 2011

We rounded up phone hacking developments in a post on Friday.  Perhaps the most important development of the past week in this area was the police abandonment of their production order application against the “Guardian”.  On Friday the Chair of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz MP, raised this at a private meeting with the Deputy Assistant Commissioner Mark Simmons. Read the rest of this entry »





News: Max Mosley and a French criminal complaint against News of the World and Neville Thurlbeck

25 09 2011

On Tuesday 20 September 2011, the 17th chamber of the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris heard Max Mosley’s criminal complaint against the “News of the World” and Neville Thurlbeck in respect of the publication of private information about him in notorious articles in March 2008.   There was a report of the hearing in the “Guardian” and also in the French press, for example, L’Express.   The claim is based on the sale of 1,300 copies of the “News of the World” in France and the distribution of about 3,000 copies in total.  Mr Mosley is reported to be seeking damages and interest of €100,000 from the French court. Read the rest of this entry »





Revisited: The Future of the Press: John Lanchester’s LRB piece on newspapers

25 09 2011

In January 2011 we published this post about an article in the London Review of Books in December 2010 by John Lanchester.  We thought that it was worth republishing in the light of the renewed debate about the press after the establishment of the Leveson Inquiry.  Proposals for regulation need to take into account the economic realities of the newspaper industry. Read the rest of this entry »








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