News: PressBoF refused permission to bring “fanciful appeal” on Royal Charter

2 05 2014

Maurice KayOn 1 May 2014 Lord Justice Maurice Kay (pic) dismissed the application by the Press Standards Board of Finance (“PressBoF”) for for permission to appeal against the dismissal of their judicial review application.  No further appeal routes are available and the case is now concluded.

PressBoF  had sought an injunction to restrain the consideration by the Privy Council of the Cross-Party Royal Charter on Self-Regulation of the Press and permission to apply for judicial review of the Privy Council’s rejection of its proposed Royal Charter  We had a post about the original decision here.

On 19 February 2014,  single judge of the Court of Appeal refused PressBoF permission to appeal on the papers.  It renewed the application at an oral hearing before Lord Justice Maurice Kay on 30 April 2014.  Details of the progress of the application for permission to appeal can be found here.

At the hearing Richard Gordon QC for Press BoF claimed there had been an unfair process. It was argued that PressBoF had not been given sufficient evidence of the criteria used by both the DCMS and the Privy Council. 

Lord Justice Maurice Kay said that, although he was “deeply mindful of their grievances” he would dismiss PressBoF’s application for permission to appeal.

In his judgment, he said he believed that PressBoF had been given every opportunity to check what the criteria would have been, especially through the several drafts that were made of the proposed Charter.

Not only this, but due to the nature of the Royal Charter and public debate around press regulation, the criteria of a Royal Charter would have been obvious to every member of the press industry – principally surrounding Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations.

The judge went on to say that he was not making judgement on the different varying qualities of the rival Royal Charter, but rather on the contested process.

His conclusion was that the process was “not unfair or even arguably unfair” and that the PressBoF argument was a “fanciful” one.

Whilst PressBoF has lost this appeal, it indicated that it had issued another claim seeking to challenge the Privy Council’s granting of the Royal Charter on Self-Regulation of the Press.  It was said, however, that the second case was “parasitic” on the outcome of the application for permission to appeal and it seems that it is unlikely  to be pursued.

There was a short report of the judgment in the Press Gazette and a post on the Hacked Off website.



4 responses

5 05 2014
Law and Media Round Up – 5 May 2014 | Inforrm's Blog

[…] On 29 April 2014, Lord Justice Maurice Kay heard the renewed oral application for permission to appeal in the case of R (Press Standards Board of Finance) v Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport.  He gave judgment on 1 May 2014 dismissing the application.  This is the final appeal for PressBoF and the claim is now at an end.  We had a post about this decision. […]

7 09 2014
Faking change: a brief history of IPSO | Hacked Off

[…] Defeated in front of a public inquiry and now defeated in Parliament, PressBof next threw a very large quantity of its members’ money into an attempt to wreck the new Royal Charter in the courts. This too, eventually, was ignominiously defeated. […]

29 01 2015
Media and Law Review of the Year, 2014: Part 3, Press Regulation; IPSO, IMPRESS and a Recognition Panel, – Tessa Evans | inforrms

[…] 1 May 2014, PressBoF was refused permission to appeal against the dismissal of its judicial review application. PressBoF  had sought an injunction to […]

14 10 2016
The relentless humiliation of IPSO and Sir Alan Moses – Brian Cathcart | Hacked Off

[…] despite having exerted all their behind-the-scenes influence  over politicians, and despite hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of effort by their lawyers, they have still not managed to prevent steady progress towards a reformed and […]

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