Barrister Dr David Wolfe QC has been appointed to be the first chair of the Recognition Panel established by the Royal Charter on regulation of the press.
Dr Wolfe will now oversee the appointment of the other members of the board of the Recognition Panel, which will have the job of recognising accredited press industry regulators in accordance with the Charter.
The new industry-backed regulator, the Independent Press Standards Organisation, has indicated that it has no intention of seeking accreditation from the panel, on the grounds that the Royal Charter amounts to state-sponsored regulation.
However if another regulator were to seek and gain recognition, it could leave members of IPSO vulnerable to the threat of exemplarary damages in libel actions.
Dr Wolfe said: “A large part of my legal career has been spent defending the principle of fair decision-making.
“I am delighted to have been appointed to help establish independent oversight of an effective system of press self-regulation. That will help to secure the public interest in a free and vibrant press which acts in accordance with the lessons learned through the Leveson Inquiry.”