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UK Parliamentary committee recommends reform of media regulation

By Steven | February 25, 2010

The British Culture, Media and Sport Committee has released its report into press standards, privacy and libel.

Privacy tort: No change. In particular, no legal requirement for the media to give notice to people who’s privacy they’re about to invade in an upcoming story, though a failure to provide such notice should hike any damages awarded.
Privacy ethics: The Press Complaints Commission’s Code should be amended to require such notice, except when the public interest justifies not doing so.
Super-injunctions: The right to report Parliamant should be confirmed. Super-injunctions should be restricted.
Defamation: Consider reversing onus on defendants to prove truth – but only when sued by corporations. Consider putting new responsible journalism defence on statutory footing.
Libel tourism: Those whose “primary domicile or place of business” is not the UK should face additional hurdles before being able to lodge defamation claims there.
Costs: Contingency fees should be restricted to 10%, and after-the-event insurance not recoverable in a settlement.
Phone-hacking: Certainly more pervasive than News of the World was claiming. News executives guilty of “deliberate obfuscation” to the Committee. NOTW, the police and the PCC all failed to properly inquire into the practice.
PCC: Should be renamed, reformed, and given the power to fine and even suspend printing for an issue. Should be able to investigate without a formal complaint. Should have two-thirds lay majority. Consider making defamation-costs benefits mentioned above only available to PCC members, to incentivise membership.

Topics: Breach of confidence, Defamation, Injunctions, Press Council, Privacy tort | No Comments »


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