12 March 2012

Leveson Inquiry: Hearings - Module 2 - Day 8 - Press/Police

Lord Justice Leveson

"The focus of the Inquiry is ‘the culture, practices and ethics of the press’ in the context of the latter’s relationship with the public, the police and politicians. All of these matters overlap, and my goal must be to consider what lessons, if any, may be learned from past events and what recommendations, if any, should be made for the future, in particular as regards press regulation, governance and other systems of oversight."

Module 2

"The relationship between the press and the police and the extent to which that has operated in the public interest."

Useful Links:
Leveson Inquiry Witness Statements HERE 
Leveson Inquiry Witness Lists HERE
Video Recordings of each day's proceedings HERE
Live Feed From Leveson Inquiry Site HERE
BBC Democracy Live Feed HERE 
Telegraph Live Blog HERE
Guardian Live Blog HERE

 Links to today's articles, blogs, comment and information relevant to the Leveson Inquiry:

Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Sun, Mirror, Express, Star all seem to have ignored our call for Leveson to publish Motorman files

     Monday, 12th March 2012

    Today's Witnesses:
    Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick ( MPS )
    Sir Denis O'Connor ( HM Inspectorate of Constabulary )

    Lord Justice Leveson's opening remarks this morning from Guardian Live Blog:
    We now have a transcript of Lord Justice Leveson's opening remarks.Here's what he said about the PCC:
    To say that the PCC was never a regulator irrespective of the powers that it might have been able to exercise and irrespective of the fact that it was badged as an effective regulator after Sir David Calcutt's second report only underlines the concern that the public have been misled about what it could do...
    On five-year contracts for a new PCC:
    In evidence, Lord Hunt outlined his model of a five-year rolling commercial contract and, without committing myself in any way to such a model, I encouraged him to continue working not least because I expect the industry to put forward to me the strongest form of regulation that it could devise in order that I could test it against what, on full examination and analysis during module 4, becomes the minimum requirements of an effective system.
    On Lord Hunt's work on a replacement for the PCC:
    I am grateful to him and Lord Black for keeping the inquiry team informed about the progress that has been made but it is important that this encouragement should not be taken as endorsement let alone agreement. I have raised a number of questions and do not yet know the answer to them.

    By way of illustration, I must ask whether a five year rolling contract is sufficient to deal with the fundamental problem of industry acceptance. The threat of what I might recommend may well encourage to sign up those who, for reasons which have been explained, do not consider that the PCC worked for them but that simply potentially puts the problem off for five years: that is a more serious issue than has manifested itself in the past because previous crises have concerned adequacy of regulation and there was no problem of publishers leaving the system.
    On the structure of a new PCC:
    …I am keen to understand what is proposed in relation to the structure surrounding the new regulator. Is it proposed that PressBof and the editors' code committee should remain, staffed in the same way? On the substance, I will need Lord Hunt to address the proposed attitude to third party complaints or group complaints where there is no identifiable victim. What is the view about concurrent legal proceedings and why should the complaints arm not be able to award compensation? Informal resolution is obviously important but how will that work as a mechanism to maintain if not improve standards? Is the new independent assessor an appeal mechanism and, if so, what will be done to prevent complaint fatigue and what has been said to be the grinding down of complainants by passage of time? What is meant by a serious or systemic breakdown in standards?
    On Leveson's role:
    ...I will recommend what I perceive to be the most effective and potentially enduring system: it will then be for others to decide how to proceed.
    This list of questions is not intended to be exhaustive and I deliberately ask them in an entirely open way. I have raised them simply to underline my position. I do not suggest that Lord Hunt seeks to pre-empt me or that he proceeds on the basis that I have agreed with the approach which he proposes.

    Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick  Witness Statement in Full

    Guardian Live Blog HERE
    Telegraph Live Blog HERE

    Sir Denis O'Connor  Witness Statement in Full

    Guardian Live Blog HERE
    Telegraph Live Blog HERE