APPENDIX 5: MODELS OF SELF REGULATION,
CO-REGULATION AND STATUTORY REGULATION |
The following note on models of self regulation,
co-regulation and statutory regulation was provided by Ofcom in
evidence to the Leveson inquiry.
Models of self regulation, co-regulation and statutory
We have previously set out for the Inquiry our views
on when self regulatory, coregulatory and statutory regulatory
models are most effective. In summary our view is:
· Self regulatory models are industry designed
and led, allowing the industry to define an approach best suited
to achieving its desired outcomes. Self regulatory systems rely
on a strong alignment between the incentives of participants and
the wider public interest. Membership is voluntary and there are
no formal legal backstops to enforce the rules of the schemes.
In the absence of alignment between the interests of the industry
and the public interest, self-regulatory regimes are unlikely
to prove effective when confronted by circumstances which present
a tension between the public interest and the corporate interests
of industry players.
· Co-regulatory models typically provide
more industry involvement than statutory regulation and can be
particularly effective when there is widespread industry support
for the objectives of regulation. They require periodic monitoring
by a backstop body to ensure effectiveness and can require the
backstop body to carry out enforcement activity. Co-regulation
can, like self regulation, also struggle where there are pronounced
tensions between commercial interests and the wider public interest,
but usually less so than self regulatory models. This is because
the existence of the backstop body obliges the participants to
find a way of resolving the inherent problems, or else face some
kind of sanction from the backstop body.
· Statutory regulation is usually carried
out by an independent body, accountable to Parliament and subject
to scrutiny by the National Audit Office. It is usually the most
effective model where there is a clear divergence between commercial
interests and the wider public interest.
99 Ofcom, 'Submission to the Leveson Inquiry on the
future of press regulation: A response to Lord Justice Leveson's
request' April 2012. Available online: