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Newspaper Society launches legal bid against Privy Council's decision
NEWSPAPER industry chiefs have launched a legal bid for a judicial review over its proposals for a Royal Charter for self regulation of the press, it was announced tonight.
The Newspaper Society, which acts as a voice of the local media, wants to challenge the decision of the Privy Council who rejected calls for an independent panel that could regulate the press.
The Council threw out the idea of a Royal Charter to establish the panel on October 8, and an Order was made to that effect the following day.
Now the Newspaper Society is asking for the Review at the High Court, saying the application was not dealt with fairly and the press had a right to be consulted.
It says the Government and the Privy Council both failed to engage with the media and the procedures followed were “irrational”.
However, the application will not impact in any way on the implementation of the new Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) which is launched tomorrow and will be up and running early next year.
The IPSO has been billed as a tough new regulator for the press that will deliver all the key elements required by Lord Justice Leveson in his report.
Lord Black of Brentwood, Chairman of the Press Standards Board of Finance (the industry body which funds the regulatory system), said: “The decision by the Government and the Privy Council on this matter has enormous ramifications for free speech both here in the UK, and - because of our leadership role in the Commonwealth and developing world - across the globe.
“The Government and the Privy Council should have applied the most rigorous standards of consultation and examination of the Royal Charter proposed by the industry, which would have enshrined tough regulatory standards at the same time as protecting press freedom.
“They singularly failed to do so, and that is why - as the issues at stake are so extraordinarily high - we are having to take this course of action.”
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