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6 December 2012
The Law Society will be holding one of the first public debates on the Leveson Report just days after the media industry presents its proposals for a new independent industry watchdog.
The public debate, on Tuesday 11th December, will bring together media law experts, representatives from reform groups and members of the press to analyse the Leveson recommendations.
As senior media editors urgently draft plans for a press watchdog that would be Leveson-compliant, yet independent of publishers and politicians, the debate participants will argue whether statutory intervention will result in governmental oversight and the annihilation of an independent media.
Law Society Chief Executive Des Hudson, who will chair the debate, highlighted recently that the experience of the legal world suggests legislative intervention isn't the defining factor for independence of a profession.
He said,“We need to be clear about exactly which mechanisms will ensure or undermine the future independence of the press. Terms such as 'state regulation' and 'statutory underpinning' are used widely, but not always with the greatest clarity.”
The Law Society debate panel will argue the cases for and against statutory underpinning and will examine all the issues to provide an in-depth legal and practical insight into what it all could mean.
A panel of experts from the media and legal sector will look at the implications the report is likely to have on the future shape of press regulation, freedom of speech, and protection of privacy. Speakers include:
- Hugh Tomlinson QC, Matrix Chambers and Chair of Hacked Off;
- Gideon Benaim, Partner at Michael Simkins;
- Martin Bentham, Home Affairs Editor, The London Evening Standard;
- Brian Flynn, Investigations Editor, The Sun;
- Rachel Robinson, Policy Officer, Liberty.
The Law Society Public Debate Series is being held in association with the Huffington Post. The event takes place at 6.30pm, December 11th at the Law Society in Chancery Lane and will take the form of a Q&A session with the audience.
This event is free and open for anyone interested in the debate topic, including: Law Society members, journalists, academics, solicitors in not-for-profit organisations and students.