The Duke and Duchess of Sussex could have looked to settle their current legal action against newspapers through the Independent Press Standards Organisations’ (IPSO) arbitration scheme, its chair has said.
Speaking to The Times newspaper, Lord Faulks, QC, who took over as chair of the complaints body in January 2020 said that the scheme could have offered a cheap and swift mechanism for settling the dispute rather than going through the courts.
He said: “If I had a complaint against newspapers, I am not sure I would go to the expense of hiring Schillings [the couple’s London law firm].
“They could have come to us,” Lord Faulks, a former Tory justice minister, says.
“The royal family has regularly used us and are very much aware of what we can
and cannot do. But we don’t preclude people from using a lawyer in a conventional way.”
The duke and duchess are currently embroiled in actions against the publisher of The Mail on Sunday and a picture agency over alleged invasions of privacy.
IPSO operates an arbitration scheme that allows two sides to agree to a third party ruling on their dispute, rather than going to court. Fees are low and damages of up to £60,000 and costs of up to £25,000 can be awarded.
Read the full piece on The Times here.
More information on the IPSO arbitration scheme can be found here.