Leveson: Future regulation of the media?

Today sees the long-awaited publication of the Report by Lord Justice Leveson into media standards.

The Report unsurprisingly recommends that a new regulator be established which is enshrined in statute. However, surprisingly, the statute is effectively only proposed to enshrine that body in law but to govern its powers such as dealing with matters like compensation.

It is suggested that OFCOM oversees the new body. Further, participation in the body will not be compulsory for the media. There will be incentives for the media in the event that they participate but no sanctions (although some of the incentives are significant such as non-participants being denied the ability of recovering costs of litigation).

The media may be fined in the event of serious or systemic breaches. The body however will have no ability to award compensation to victims of breaches.

The report may therefore be perceived as something of a compromise between the positions of those in favour of the status quo and those advocating statutory regulation of the media.

Hamlins’ media team act for a number of publishers, such as Hello!, who gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry on a number of occasions. The team also represent a number of victims of phone-hacking in claims against News Group Newspapers.


Chris Hutchings
020 7355 6104