LibLink: Anthony Lester – My vision of a Leveson law

Liberal Democrat peer Anthony Lester has written for the Guardian about his independent Press Council bill which he introduced in the House of Lords yesterday.

If his measure became law, it would be the Supreme Court rather than OFCOM which would ensure that the independent self regulatory body was genuinely independent and complying with the principles Lord Leveson set out in his report.

Writing about the need for legislation, Lester wrote:

Statutory underpinning is needed to compel ministers and others to uphold freedom of speech and of the press, and the independence of the new press council. This aim cannot be achieved by contract alone because a contract does not bind third parties or affect the role of the courts. An act of parliament would also provide a powerful incentive for publishers to join the new system and abide by high professional standards. The incentive is contained in my bill by widening the public interest defence in claims of libel and media intrusion on personal privacy where a newspaper or its editor or staff can show that they have acted responsibly in news gathering and publishing, in accordance with the standards and practices prescribed by the press council. The courts would take that into account, making it much less likely that a publisher would be found liable for alleged wrongdoing.

He outlined what he was trying to achieve in the Bill:

I have sought to provide a framework of principles, rather than a code of detailed prescriptive rules, keeping the bill’s clauses to the bare minimum, and leaving the scope and machinery of the press council to be worked out by the promoters of the scheme. If something on the lines of my bill is approved, only a future parliament enacting primary legislation will be able to amend or abolish the act. That, and the role of the president of the UK supreme court as validator – and the safeguard of judicial review for lapses by the press council – are all designed to enhance much needed public confidence in independent self-regulation.

You can read the whole article here.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Read more by or more about , , , or .
This entry was posted in LibLink.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/32132 for Twitter and emails.
Advert

One Comment

  • How incredibly sensible. So what chance of it succeeding under t’Coalition?

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 22nd May - 4:50pm
    @Andy CN Perhaps you should have checked your facts before you said that. Here is what I wrote at the time about the memo: http://www.libdemvoice.org/nicola-sturgeon-faces-similar-press-trashing-to-clegg-in-2010-but-with-added-misogyny-45322.html...
  • User AvatarAngela Davies 22nd May - 4:49pm
    I would like a leader who can inspire. Gravitas is great in some areas and much as we need it right now we are in...
  • User AvatarPaul Walter 22nd May - 4:46pm
    g You posted two comments on April 6th which we did not publish on this subject. They both said: "Alistair Carmichael has taken responsibility for...
  • User AvatarDave Page 22nd May - 4:46pm
    LDV polls are filled in by people who are registered on the LDV forums. This leans towards younger, more technologically literate members. Since Tim has...
  • User Avataralex marsh 22nd May - 4:40pm
    Disgraceful. No wonder he didn't make a run for the leadership.
  • User AvatarAndy Connelly-Nimmo 22nd May - 4:38pm
    Astonishing to see Lib Dem members here trying to deflect from this, saying 'Oh, but you had no evidence at the time...'. I'm sure none...
Fri 22nd May 2015
Sat 23rd May 2015
Sun 24th May 2015
Mon 25th May 2015
12:05
Tue 26th May 2015
Wed 27th May 2015
Thu 28th May 2015
Fri 29th May 2015
19:30
Sat 30th May 2015
Sun 31st May 2015
Mon 1st Jun 2015
Wed 3rd Jun 2015
Thu 4th Jun 2015
Sat 6th Jun 2015
Thu 11th Jun 2015
Fri 12th Jun 2015
Sat 13th Jun 2015
Wed 17th Jun 2015
Thu 18th Jun 2015