In November 2016 the Society of Editors launched its Save your right to know campaign in response to the announcement of a government consultation on the Leveson Inquiry and its implementation.
The consultation, announced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport was set up to seek further views on whether to commence Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 and part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry.
The Society, alongside other trade organisations and national, regional and local editors is opposing the commencement of Section 40 on the basis that it is fundamentally at odds with the principle of justice being fair. Section 40, included in the Crime and Courts Ac 2013 as a carrots and sticks approach to forcing newspaper publishers to sign up to a Royal Charter-backed regulator, could see newspapers forced to pay both sides’ costs in defamation and privacy cases regardless or not of whether they successfully defend a case in court. Implementing such a measure would have a crippling effect on investigative journalism.
Newspaper editors, senior executives and members of the public that value the freedom of the press have voiced their opposition to the commencement of Section 40.
The consultation closed on Tuesday 10 January 2017 and the government will now consider its response.
The Society’s submission to the consultation can be read in full here.