AddThis SmartLayers

Industry launches appeal in fight against Royal Charter

The newspaper industry has lodged an appeal after losing its High Court bid to block the cross-party Royal Charter on press regulation.

Last week, a last ditch attempt by the industry to prevent the charter going ahead was rejected by judges just hours before it was approved by the Privy Council.

The industry has now formally lodged its appeal after Lord Justice Richards and Mr Justice Sales refused it permission to seek a judicial review of the Privy Council’s decision to reject its own plans for a new system of regulation.

Following approval of the Royal Charter, the industry said it would push forward with its plans for the creation of an Independent Press Standards Organisation.

A joint statement from the Newspaper Society, Newspaper Publishers Association, Scottish Newspaper Society and Professional Publishers Association said the appeal had been made against the judges’ refusal of permission for a judicial review.

It said that during the High Court hearing, without giving warning to the industry or its lawyers, the court had decided to treat the case as an application for permission for judicial review, as well as for an injunction, with it dismissing both.

Lord Black of Brentwood, chairman of the Press Standards Board of Finance which brought the case on behalf of the industry, said: “The imposition by the Privy Council of a Royal Charter on our industry raises hugely significant questions about a free press, a free society and the quality of our democracy.

“Quite apart from the threat to press freedom in the UK, it will have terrible reverberations across the Commonwealth and the developing world. The stakes are extremely high.

“We do not believe that a hastily convened hearing for an emergency injunction application is an appropriate venue for giving proper consideration to these vital issues. We are confident our appeal will succeed.”

Following the approval of the Royal Charter, Culture Secretary Maria Miller said at the weekend that it could become redundant if an effective system of self-regulation was brought in.