Free Press

U.K. Official Insists Press Regulation Doesn't Threaten Human Rights

And don't you report otherwise

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Maria Miller, the culture secretary, has insisted that controversial draft legislation to allow courts to impose exemplary damages on newspapers who lose libel cases do not breach human rights laws, and marks an "improvement" in press regulation.

The proposal to introduce exemplary damages remains arguably the biggest stumbling block for the government in gaining the backing of the newspaper industry for its plan to introduce press reforms prompted by Lord Justice Leveson's report.

Labour MP Paul Farrelly, a member of the Commons culture, media and sport select committee that quizzed Miller on Tuesday, asked if she was sure the examplary damages proposal was "legally watertight".

Farrelly said the press industry called in lawyers to give a legal opinion which warned that the exemplary damages proposal breached Article 10 of the European convention on human rights, which protects freedom of expression.