Civil Liberties

U.K. Scheme To Punish Regulation-Averse Newspapers Called "Unlawful"

EU human rights law would seem to bar the scheme


Proposals to punish newspapers that do not join new self-regulatory body could breach EU law, say judges.

Proposals to punish newspapers with huge fines for breaches of privacy and for libel if they do not join the new press regulator are unlawful, three leading lawyers have warned.

Three leading QCs, Lord Pannick, Desmond Browne and Antony White, have said that separate proposals from the Conservative party and Lord Justice Leveson to use the threat of big fines to encourage newspapers to join a new self-regulatory body are "inconsistent with authority", incompatible with article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and "objectionable in principle".