Before calling for a “McLeveson”, we should note that the inquiry’s legal adviser Shami Chakrabarti insisted her dissent over statutory regulation be written into the final report (your report, 3 December).
Although she was selected for her expertise in human rights law, her warning to the panel that newspaper regulation in a democracy must be voluntary was completely ignored.
In her professional opinion, giving yet another cosy government quango power to punish the press violates article ten of the European Convention guaranteeing free speech. Article ten states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority.”
In fact, Scotland already has laws against phone hacking, libel, harassment and bribery, so our judiciary already has to hand all the necessary tools.
(Dr) John Cameron
No doubt the arguments about Lord Leveson’s proposal to introduce legal backing for a new Press Complaints Commission will rage for some time yet.
However, the naysayers’ argument, that some dictator may come along and hijack a new law, is weak, to say the least.
A powerful dictator or party could just introduce a new law to gag the press. Wouldn’t it be much simpler to beef up the privacy law?
This would get around Shami Chakrabarti’s objection that statutory control of the behaviour of the press would infringe their human rights.