Leveson recommended that there should be a law which guarantees a free press in this country. It is an essential balancing measure. Such a law is missing from the current half-baked, tear-arse, panicky “implementation” of his report.
Hacked-off calls the whole implementation “artful”. Crafty and shambolic, more like.
I am beginning to think that it would have been better to pass a full-on separate short bill for this. At least, that way, there would have been proper scrutiny.
Instead, we have the Black Magic option of the Royal Charter waved through at a Privy Council meeting with a few ministers standing round with the Queen. We have the hugely debatable two-thirds majority measure being sneaked through some obscure bill. And the measure to exempt self-regulatory body members from exemplary damages is being smuggled through in the bowels of another bill.
There remain a host of questions and loop holes.
Not least, the exemption from damages measure could mean that Private Eye, The Spectator, even the Express group, the BBC, Sky News, Channel 4 News, twitters, bloggers etc etc may be open to being hit with exemplary damages in certain cases.