Session 2012 - 13
Internet Publications
Other Bills before Parliament


 
 

Report Stage Proceedings: 18 March 2013                  

333

 

Crime and Courts Bill[Lords], continued

 
 

2          

The Chair of the Board (who is subject to the restrictions of criterion 5(d), (e)

 

and (f)) can only be appointed if nominated by an appointment panel. The

 

selection of that panel must itself be conducted in an appropriately independent

 

way and must, itself, be independent of the industry and of Government.

 

3          

The appointment panel—

 

(a)    

should be appointed in an independent, fair and open way;

 

(b)    

should contain a substantial majority of members who are

 

demonstrably independent of the press;

 

(c)    

should include at least one person with a current understanding and

 

experience of the press; and

 

(d)    

should include no more than one current editor of a publication that

 

could be a member of the body.

 

4          

The nomination process for the appointment of the Board should also be an

 

independent process, and the composition of the Board should include people

 

with relevant expertise. The appointment panel may only nominate as many

 

people as there are vacancies on the Board (including the Chair), and the Board

 

shall accept all nominations. The requirement for independence means that

 

there should be no serving editors on the Board.

 

5          

The members of the Board should be appointed only following nomination by

 

the same appointment panel that nominates the Chair, together with the Chair

 

(once appointed), and should—

 

(a)    

be nominated by a process which is fair and open;

 

(b)    

comprise a majority of people who are independent of the press;

 

(c)    

include a sufficient number of people with experience of the industry

 

who may include former editors and senior or academic journalists;

 

(d)    

not include any serving editor;

 

(e)    

not include any serving member of the House of Commons, the

 

Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the National

 

Assembly for Wales, the European Parliament or the House of Lords

 

(but only if, in the case of the House of Lords, the member holds or has

 

held within the previous 5 years an official affiliation with a political

 

party) or a Minister of the Crown, a Scottish Minister, a Northern

 

Ireland Executive Minister or a Welsh Government Minister; and

 

(f)    

in the view of the appointment panel, and having regard to any

 

publicly stated position of the individual concerned, be a person who

 

can manifestly act fairly and impartially in the decision-making of the

 

Board.

 

6          

Funding for the system should be settled in agreement between the industry

 

and the Board, taking into account the cost of fulfilling the obligations of the

 

regulator and the commercial pressures on the industry. There should be an

 

indicative budget which the Board certifies is adequate for the purpose.

 

Funding settlements should cover a four or five year period and should be

 

negotiated well in advance.

 

7          

The standards code must ultimately be the responsibility of the Board, and be

 

written by code committee comprising both independent members of the board

 

and serving editors but on which editors should not have a decisive part to play.

 

The Code Committee must conduct an annual public consultation on changes

 

to the code.

 

8          

The code must take into account the importance of freedom of speech, the

 

interests of the public (including but not limited to the public interest in

 

detecting or exposing crime or serious impropriety, protecting public health

 

and safety and preventing the public from being seriously misled), the need for

 

journalists to protect confidential sources of information, and the rights of

 

individuals. Specifically, it must cover standards of—


 
 

Report Stage Proceedings: 18 March 2013                  

334

 

Crime and Courts Bill[Lords], continued

 
 

(a)    

conduct, especially in relation to the treatment of other people in the

 

process of obtaining material;

 

(b)    

appropriate respect for privacy where there is no sufficient public

 

interest justification for breach; and

 

(c)    

accuracy, and the need to avoid misrepresentation.

 

8A         

A self-regulatory body should provide advice to the public in relation to issues

 

concerning the press and the standards code, along with a service to warn the

 

press, and other relevant parties such as broadcasters and press photographers,

 

when an individual has made it clear that they do not welcome press intrusion.

 

8B         

A self-regulatory body should make it clear that subscribers will be held

 

strictly accountable under the standards code for any material that they

 

publish, including photographs, however sourced. This criterion does not

 

include advertising content.

 

8C         

A self-regulatory body should provide non-binding guidance on the

 

interpretation of the public interest that justifies what would otherwise

 

constitute a breach of the standards code. This must be framed in the context

 

of the different provisions of the code relating to the public interest.

 

8D         

A self-regulatory body should establish a whistleblowing hotline for those who

 

feel that they are being asked to do things which are contrary to the standards

 

code.

 

9          

The Board should require, of those who subscribe, appropriate internal

 

governance processes (for dealing with complaints and compliance with the

 

standards code), transparency on what governance processes they have in

 

place, and notice of any failures in compliance, together with details of steps

 

taken to deal with failures in compliance.

 

10         

The Board should require all those who subscribe to have an adequate and

 

speedy complaint handling mechanism; it should encourage those who wish to

 

complain to do so through that mechanism and should not receive complaints

 

directly unless or until the internal complaints system has been engaged

 

without the complaint being resolved in an appropriate time.

 

11         

The Board should have the power to hear and decide on complaints about

 

breach of the standards code by those who subscribe. The Board will need to

 

have the discretion not to look into complaints if they feel that the complaint

 

is without justification, is an attempt to argue a point of opinion rather than a

 

standards code breach, or is simply an attempt to lobby. The Board should have

 

the power (but not necessarily the duty) to hear complaints—

 

(a)    

from anyone personally and directly affected by the alleged breach of

 

the standards code, or

 

(b)    

where there is an alleged breach of the code and there is public interest

 

in the Board giving consideration to the complaint from a

 

representative group affected by the alleged breach, or

 

(c)    

from a third party seeking to ensure accuracy of published

 

information.

 

            

In the case of third party complaints the views of the party most closely

 

involved should be taken into account.

 

12         

Decisions on complaints should be the ultimate responsibility of the Board,

 

advised by complaints handling officials to whom appropriate delegations may

 

be made.

 

12A      

The Board should be prepared to allow a complaint to be brought prior to legal

 

proceedings being commenced. Challenges to that approach (and applications

 

to stay) can be decided on the merits.

 

13         

Serving editors should not be members of any Committee advising the Board

 

on complaints and should not play any role in determining the outcome of an

 

individual complaint. Any such Committee should have a composition broadly


 
 

Report Stage Proceedings: 18 March 2013                  

335

 

Crime and Courts Bill[Lords], continued

 
 

reflecting that of the main Board, with a majority of people who are

 

independent of the press.

 

14         

It should continue to be the case that complainants are able to bring complaints

 

free of charge.

 

15         

In relation to complaints, where a negotiated outcome between a complainant

 

and a subscriber (pursuant to criterion 10) has failed, the Board should have

 

the power where appropriate to require remedial action for breach of standards

 

and the publication of corrections and apologies. Although remedies are

 

essentially about correcting the record for individuals, the power to direct a

 

correction and an apology must apply equally in relation to—

 

(a)    

individual standards breaches; and

 

(b)    

groups of people as defined in criterion 11 where there is no single

 

identifiable individual who has been affected; and

 

(c)    

matters of fact where there is no single identifiable individual who has

 

been affected.

 

16         

In the event of no agreement between a complainant and a subscriber, the

 

power to direct the nature, extent and placement of apologies should lie with

 

the Board.

 

17         

The Board should not have the power to prevent publication of any material,

 

by anyone, at any time although (in its discretion) it should be able to offer a

 

service of advice to editors of subscribing publications relating to code

 

compliance.

 

18         

The Board, being an independent self-regulatory body, should have authority

 

to examine issues on its own initiative and have sufficient powers to carry out

 

investigations both into suspected serious or systemic breaches of the code and

 

failures to comply with directions of the Board. Those who subscribe must be

 

required to cooperate with any such investigation.

 

19         

The Board should have the power to impose appropriate and proportionate

 

sanctions (including but not limited to financial sanctions up to 1% of turnover

 

attributable to the publication concerned with a maximum of £1,000,000) on

 

any subscriber found to be responsible for serious or systemic breaches of the

 

standards code or governance requirements of the body. The Board should

 

have sufficient powers to require appropriate information from subscribers in

 

order to ascertain the turnover that is attributable to a publication irrespective

 

of any particular accounting arrangements of the publication or subscriber. The

 

sanctions that should be available should include power to require publication

 

of corrections, if the breaches relate to accuracy, or apologies if the breaches

 

relate to other provisions of the code.

 

19A      

The Board should establish a ring-fenced enforcement fund, into which

 

receipts from financial sanctions could be paid, for the purpose of funding

 

investigations.

 

20         

The Board should have both the power and a duty to ensure that all breaches

 

of the standards code that it considers are recorded as such and that proper data

 

is kept that records the extent to which complaints have been made and their

 

outcome; this information should be made available to the public in a way that

 

allows understanding of the compliance record of each title.

 

21         

The Board should publish an Annual Report identifying—

 

(a)    

the body’s subscribers, identifying any significant changes in

 

subscriber numbers;

 

(b)    

the number of—

 

(i)    

complaints it has handled, making clear how many of them are

 

multiple complaints,

 

(ii)    

articles in respect of which it has considered complaints to be

 

without merit, and


 
 

Report Stage Proceedings: 18 March 2013                  

336

 

Crime and Courts Bill[Lords], continued

 
 

(iii)    

articles in respect of which it has considered complaints to be

 

with merit, and the outcomes reached,

 

    

in aggregate for all subscribers and individually in relation to each

 

subscriber;

 

(c)    

a summary of any investigations carried out and the result of them;

 

(d)    

a report on the adequacy and effectiveness of compliance processes

 

and procedures adopted by subscribers; and

 

(e)    

information about the extent to which the arbitration service has been

 

used.

 

22         

The Board should provide an arbitral process for civil legal claims against

 

subscribers which—

 

(a)    

complies with the Arbitration Act 1996 (“the Act”);

 

(b)    

provides suitable powers for the arbitrator to ensure the process

 

operates fairly and quickly, and on an inquisitorial basis (so far as

 

possible);

 

(c)    

contains transparent arrangements for claims to be struck out, for

 

legitimate reasons (including on frivolous or vexatious grounds);

 

(d)    

directs appropriate pre-publication matters to the courts;

 

(e)    

operates under the principle that arbitration should be free for

 

complainants to use;

 

(f)    

ensures that the parties should each bear their own costs, subject to a

 

successful complainant’s costs being recoverable (having regard to

 

section 60 of the Act and any applicable caps on recoverable costs);

 

and

 

(g)    

overall, is inexpensive for all parties.

 

23         

The membership of a regulatory body should be open to all publishers on fair,

 

reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.’.

 


 

Simon Hughes

 

Edward Miliband

 

Ms Harriet Harman

 

Mr Elfyn Llwyd

 

Mark Durkan

 

Caroline Lucas

 

Naomi Long

 

Not selected  NS7

 

Parliamentary Star    

To move the following Schedule:—

 

‘Royal Charter of Recognition Body

 

(a) Recognition Criteria

 

            

The following requirements are the recognition criteria for the Scheme of

 

Recognition established under Article 4 of, and Schedule 2 to, any Charter—

 

1          

An independent self-regulatory body should be governed by an independent

 

Board. In order to ensure the independence of the body, the Chair and members

 

of the Board must be appointed in a genuinely open, transparent and

 

independent way, without any influence from industry or government. For the

 

avoidance of doubt, the industry’s activities in establishing a self-regulatory

 

body, and its participation in making appointments to the Board in accordance


 
 

Report Stage Proceedings: 18 March 2013                  

337

 

Crime and Courts Bill[Lords], continued

 
 

with criteria 2 to 5; or its financing of the self-regulatory body shall not

 

constitute influence by the industry in breach of this criterion.

 

2          

The Chair of the Board (who is subject to the restrictions of criterion 5(d), (e)

 

and (f)) can only be appointed if nominated by an appointment panel. The

 

selection of that panel must itself be conducted in an appropriately independent

 

way and must, itself, be independent of the industry and of government.

 

3          

The appointment panel—

 

(a)    

should be appointed in an independent, fair and open way;

 

(b)    

should contain a substantial majority of members who are

 

demonstrably independent of the press;

 

(c)    

should include at least one person with a current understanding and

 

experience of the press;

 

(d)    

should include no more than one current editor of a publication that

 

could be a member of the body.

 

4          

The nomination process for the appointment of the Board should also be an

 

independent process, and the composition of the Board should include people

 

with relevant expertise. The appointment panel may only nominate as many

 

people as there are vacancies on the Board (including the Chair), and the Board

 

shall accept all nominations. The requirement for independence means that

 

there should be no serving editors on the Board.

 

5          

The members of the Board should be appointed only following nomination by

 

the same appointment panel that nominates the Chair, together with the Chair

 

(once appointed), and should—

 

(a)    

be nominated by a process which is fair and open;

 

(b)    

comprise a majority of people who are independent of the press;

 

(c)    

include a sufficient number of people with experience of the industry

 

who may include former editors and senior or academic journalists;

 

(d)    

not include any serving editor;

 

(e)    

not include any serving member of the House of Commons, the

 

Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the National

 

Assembly for Wales, the European Parliament or the House of Lords

 

(but only if, in the case of the House of Lords, the member holds or has

 

held within the previous five years an official affiliation with a

 

political party) or a Minister of the Crown, a Scottish Minister, a

 

Northern Ireland Executive Minister or a Welsh Government

 

Minister; and

 

(f)    

in the view of the appointment panel, be a person who can act fairly

 

and impartially in the decision-making of the Board.

 

6          

Funding for the system should be settled in agreement between the industry

 

and the Board, taking into account the cost of fulfilling the obligations of the

 

regulator and the commercial pressures on the industry. There should be an

 

indicative budget which the Board certifies is adequate for the purpose.

 

Funding settlements should cover a four or five year period and should be

 

negotiated well in advance.

 

7          

The standards code, which is the responsibility of the Code Committee, must

 

be approved by the Board or remitted to the Code Committee with reasons. The

 

Code Committee will be appointed by the Board, in accordance with best

 

practices for public appointments, and comprised of equal proportions of

 

independent members, journalists and serving editors. There will be a biennial

 

public consultation by the Code Committee, the results of which must be

 

considered openly with the Board.

 

8          

The code must take into account the importance of freedom of speech, the

 

interests of the public (including but not limited to the public interest in

 

detecting or exposing crime or serious impropriety, protecting public health


 
 

Report Stage Proceedings: 18 March 2013                  

338

 

Crime and Courts Bill[Lords], continued

 
 

and safety and preventing the public from being seriously misled), the need for

 

journalists to protect confidential sources of information, and the rights of

 

individuals. Specifically, it must cover standards of—

 

(a)    

conduct, especially in relation to the treatment of other people in the

 

process of obtaining material;

 

(b)    

appropriate respect for privacy where there is no sufficient public

 

interest justification for breach; and

 

(c)    

accuracy, and the need to avoid misrepresentation.

 

8A         

A self-regulatory body should provide advice to the public in relation to issues

 

concerning the press and the standards code, along with a service to warn the

 

press, and other relevant parties such as broadcasters and press photographers,

 

when an individual has made it clear that they do not welcome press intrusion.

 

8B         

A self-regulatory body should make it clear that subscribers will be held

 

strictly accountable under the standards code for any material that they

 

publish, including photographs, however sourced. This criterion does not

 

include advertising content.

 

8C         

A self-regulatory body should provide non-binding guidance on the

 

interpretation of the public interest that justifies what would otherwise

 

constitute a breach of the standards code. This must be framed in the context

 

of the different provisions of the code relating to the public interest.

 

8D         

A self-regulatory body should establish a whistleblowing hot-line for those

 

who feel that they are being asked to do things which are contrary to the

 

standards code.

 

9          

The Board should require, of those who subscribe, appropriate internal

 

governance processes (for dealing with complaints and compliance with the

 

standards code), transparency on what governance processes they have in

 

place, and notice of any failures in compliance, together with details of steps

 

taken to deal with failures in compliance.

 

10         

The Board should require all those who subscribe to have an adequate and

 

speedy complaint handling mechanism; it should encourage those who wish to

 

complain to do so through that mechanism and should not receive complaints

 

directly unless or until the internal complaints system has been engaged

 

without the complaint being resolved in an appropriate time.

 

11         

The Board should have the power to hear and decide on complaints about

 

breach of the standards code by those who subscribe. The Board will need to

 

have the discretion not to look into complaints if they feel that the complaint

 

is without justification, is an attempt to argue a point of opinion rather than a

 

standards code breach, or is simply an attempt to lobby. The Board should have

 

the power (but not necessarily the duty) to hear complaints—

 

(a)    

from anyone personally and directly affected by the alleged breach of

 

the standards code; or

 

(b)    

where there is an alleged breach of the code and there is public interest

 

in the Board giving consideration to the complaint from a

 

representative group affected by the alleged breach; or

 

(c)    

from a third party seeking to ensure accuracy of published

 

information.

 

            

In the case of third party complaints the views of the party most closely

 

involved should be taken into account.

 

12         

Decisions on complaints should be the ultimate responsibility of the Board,

 

advised by complaints handling officials to whom appropriate delegations may

 

be made.

 

12A      

The Board should be prepared to allow a complaint to be brought prior to legal

 

proceedings being commenced. Challenges to that approach (and applications

 

to stay) can be decided on the merits.


 
 

Report Stage Proceedings: 18 March 2013                  

339

 

Crime and Courts Bill[Lords], continued

 
 

13         

Serving editors should not be members of any Committee advising the Board

 

on complaints and should not play any role in determining the outcome of an

 

individual complaint. Any such Committee should have a composition broadly

 

reflecting that of the main Board, with a majority of people who are

 

independent of the press.

 

14         

It should continue to be the case that complainants are able to bring complaints

 

free of charge.

 

15         

In relation to complaints, where a negotiated outcome between a complainant

 

and a subscriber (pursuant to criterion 10) has failed, the Board should have

 

the power to direct appropriate remedial action for breach of standards and the

 

publication of corrections and apologies. Although remedies are essentially

 

about correcting the record for individuals, the power to require a correction

 

and an apology must apply equally in relation to—

 

(a)    

individual standards breaches; and

 

(b)    

groups of people as defined in criterion 11 where there is no single

 

identifiable individual who has been affected; and

 

(c)    

matters of fact where there is no single identifiable individual who has

 

been affected.

 

16         

In the event of no agreement between a complainant and a subscriber (pursuant

 

to criterion 10), the power to direct the nature, extent and placement of

 

corrections and apologies should lie with the Board.

 

17         

The Board should not have the power to prevent publication of any material,

 

by anyone, at any time although (in its discretion) it should be able to offer a

 

service of advice to editors of subscribing publications relating to code

 

compliance.

 

18         

The Board, being an independent self-regulatory body, should have authority

 

to examine issues on its own initiative and have sufficient powers to carry out

 

investigations both into suspected serious or systemic breaches of the code and

 

failures to comply with directions of the Board. The investigations process

 

must be simple and credible, and those who subscribe must be required to

 

cooperate with any such investigation.

 

19         

The Board should have the power to impose appropriate and proportionate

 

sanctions (including but not limited to financial sanctions up to 1 per cent of

 

turnover attributable to the publication concerned with a maximum of

 

£1,000,000) on any subscriber found to be responsible for serious or systemic

 

breaches of the standards code or governance requirements of the body. The

 

Board should have sufficient powers to require appropriate information from

 

subscribers in order to ascertain the turnover that is attributable to a publication

 

irrespective of any particular accounting arrangements of the publication or

 

subscriber. The sanctions that should be available should include power to

 

require publication of corrections, if the breaches relate to accuracy, or

 

apologies if the breaches relate to other provisions of the code.

 

19A      

The Board should establish a ring-fenced enforcement fund, into which

 

receipts from financial sanctions could be paid, for the purpose of funding

 

investigations.

 

20         

The Board should have both the power and a duty to ensure that all breaches

 

of the standards code that it considers are recorded as such and that proper data

 

is kept that records the extent to which complaints have been made and their

 

outcome; this information should be made available to the public in a way that

 

allows understanding of the compliance record of each title.

 

21         

The Board should publish an Annual Report identifying—

 

(a)    

the body’s subscribers, identifying any significant changes in

 

subscriber numbers;

 

(b)    

the number of—


 
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Revised 19 March 2013