Memorandum submitted by Rosalind M M McInnes (CTB 07)

I understand that you will be looking at this Bill tomorrow. I would like to align myself and my colleagues in the Programme Legal Advice department here at the BBC with the concerns expressed by the Society of Editors.

Specifically, we are anxious about the impact of clauses 64 and 65 on the course of justice in, and proper reporting of inquests. These seem to us to raise major issues about the Article 6 right of fair trial, the Article 8 rights of bereaved relatives who may apparently be faced with giving evidence twice as a result of a politician's decision to abort an inquest and, most obviously, the Article 10 rights of the media to give, and the public to receive information about what goes on in a court charged with considering a person's death.

I would also wish to express anxiety about clause 60 and in particular the lack of specification as to what would constitute the offence or amount to "reasonable excuse".

We hope that you will give close attention to these matters.

May 2008