Guardian: Leveson Report Recommends Statutory Regulation - Spear's Magazine

Guardian: Leveson Report Recommends Statutory Regulation

Lord Justice Leveson has recommended the introduction of the first press law in Britain since the 17th century – proposing that a statutory body such as Ofcom should take responsibility for monitoring an overhauled Press Complaints Commission

Lord Justice Leveson has recommended the introduction of the first press law in Britain since the 17th century – proposing that a statutory body such as Ofcom should take responsibility for monitoring an overhauled Press Complaints Commission.

The proposal – made despite the fierce opposition of Fleet Street to the introduction of statute – is designed to reassure the public that newspapers are subject to an effective and independent regulator to prevent a repetition of phone hacking or other scandals.

Lord Justice Leveson, in the 56-page summary to his 2,000-page report, said that the purpose of legislation was “not to establish a body to regulate the press”. But he warned that if newspapers were not prepared to join a revamped PCC it would be necessary to force Ofcom to act as a “backstop regulator”.

He also said he “cannot recommend” the model of PCC reform draw up by Lords Black and Hunt, because it would be insufficiently independent of the press. The appointment of the chair of a revamped PCC would have to be done by a “fair and open process” with majority on the appointments commission that are “independent of the press”.

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