Political Uncertainty and Section 40

  • Julian Harris
Keywords: Press law, Freedom of the press, Leveson


Julian Harris gives a further update on progress with the Leveson reforms. The Conservative Party’s 2017 manifesto made it clear that the decision had been taken not to proceed with Part 2 of the Leveson Report and to repeal section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013. Section 40 requires courts to award costs against defendant publishers in cases where a claim has been made against them by an individual concerning the publication of news-related material and the defendant publisher was not a member of an approved regulatory organisation. The manifesto pledge and subsequent re-election of the Conservative Party has summarily curtailed the debate over section 40, which was the subject of a consultation mounted by Culture Secretary Karen Bradley in November 2015. A report is still awaited, and to that extent the arguments for and against implementation of the section remain unresolved, but once the new government took office it appeared that a policy decision had been taken and appropriate action would soon follow.


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