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Coffee House

Would the Strasbourg Court end up in charge of any system of statutory regulation of the press?

27 November 2012

7:41 PM

27 November 2012

7:41 PM

In just over 18 hours, advance copies of the Leveson Report will be sent to the Prime Minister, various ministers and the other party leaders. The expectation in Westminster is very much that the Prime Minister will steer away from statutory regulation, saying instead that he wants to see if a new beefed up form of independent but non statutory regulation can do the job. Others in the coalition, remain keen on the idea of a one line bill setting up a statutory based but independent regulator.

There is though, as there is with so many stories these days given its intrusion into our national life, an ECHR angle to this debate. One Tory Eurosceptic points out to me that any statutory regulation system would most likely end up with the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg being the ultimate arbiter of it. Tellingly, Max Mosley has already tried—albeit, unsuccessfully—to use the Strasbourg Court to force newspapers to warn people before publishing a story about them.

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