media law

Press regulation Royal Charter, final draft: my detailed comments on the new provisions

October 15, 2013

I’ve spent some time looking at the final draft of the Royal Charter – so I want to share my thoughts with you. If you click the bottom left of the viewer, you’ll see in fullscreen view, highlighted, the key changes made since the original draft last March and be able to click again to […]

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R (Miranda) v Home Secretary: witness statement of Detective Supt. Caroline Goode

October 2, 2013

A few weeks ago I published the witness statement of Oliver Robbins served on behalf of the Home Secretary in the Miranda case. That statement referred (at para. 32) to a further statement to be served by the police, also in opposition to David Miranda’s application for an injunction. Now I can also publish that […]

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Miranda v Home Secretary: today’s hearing and order

August 22, 2013

Today’s hearing at the High Court before Lord Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Kenneth Parker was interesting, and not just because of the order they made. But let me turn to that order first. The court has ordered that until a further hearing next Friday, August 30th, the government and the police may not inspect, […]

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Did the Guardian comply with an “official direction” under the Official Secrets Act?

August 21, 2013

Alan Rusbridger revealed in a piece first published on the Guardian website at half past ten on Monday evening how GCHQ security experts supervised the destruction of hard drives containing “Snowden material” in a basement at the Guardian’s offices. This is how he explained what happened: A little over two months ago I was contacted […]

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Could David Miranda be a “terrorist”?

August 20, 2013

There’s understandably been a great deal of reaction to the nine-hour detention at Heathrow airport of David Miranda, who was travelling as part of his work with Guardian journalists covering Edward Snowden’s disclosures, and whose laptop and memory stick were seized as a result of his detention and questioning under paragraphs 2 and 6 of […]

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The press regulation jigsaw’s missing piece: writers

March 28, 2013

In Monday’s Lords debate about the new press regulation provisions inserted into the Crime and Courts Bill, one line stands out above all. Discussing an amendment about the vicarious liability of publishers, justice minister Lord McNally said (column 876): the liability of individual journalists at common law remains as it is now. Although said in […]

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Press regulation: the international aspect

March 26, 2013

An exchange in last night’s Lords debate on the new press regulation clauses in the Crime and Courts Bill revealed a little-noticed – and no doubt to some, astonishing – aspect of the proposed system: it covers foreign publishers. Lord Lucas raised the issue (column 854): I am sure that this is my misreading, but […]

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Why press regulation should cover blogs

March 24, 2013

In my last post, I said I was worried that the press self-regulation scheme agreed by the main political parties (and to be underpinned by a Royal Charter and two pieces of legislation) would not offer bloggers what it offers the press. Let me explain my worries – and why I think every type of […]

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The Leveson Royal Charter deal

March 23, 2013

Just before Lord Justice Leveson reported in November, I wrote in support of statutory press regulation: Only legislation can require newspapers to submit even to their own enforcement of their own code … What statute – and no other arrangement – can do is set up a genuinely independent regulator: independent not only of the […]

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Craig Murray’s Newsnight outburst: the law on anonymity should be tightened

August 21, 2012

Last night on the BBC’s Newsnight, Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, named one of the women whose evidence has led Swedish prosecutors to seek the extradition of Julian Assange. I agree with those who think this was a shocking thing for him to do. It shows no regard for the rights of […]

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