English PEN gives evidence to the Leveson Inquiry

Jonathan Heawood gives evidence to the Leveson Inquiry

Yesterday English PEN Director Jonathan Heawood gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry into the Culture, Pracitce and Ethics of the Press.  Jonathan gave evidence alongside John Kampfner, Chief Executive of Index on Censorship.

You can read the transcript, or watch a video of the session.  We also compiled a Storify of social media discussion, below.



English PEN at #Leveson

English PEN’s Director Jonathan Heawood gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, alongside Index on Censorship’s John Kampfner.

Storified by English PEN· Wed, Jan 25 2012 08:43:07

Ahead of the appearance at the Inquiry, Jonathan submitted written evidence on behalf of English PEN. You can read the document here:
We’re at the #Leveson Inquiry this morning. Our director @jheawood is giving evidence.English PEN
MT @GavinFreeguard: Ahead of his #Leveson appearance, @EnglishPEN’s @jheawood on privacy law & memoir http://bit.ly/yAmTLP.Hacked off
John Kampfner of Index on Censorship & Jon Heawood of PEN sworn in at #levesonRoss Hawkins
Jonathan @jheawood talks about ‘exemplary effect’ of free speech laws in English jurisdiction. #LevesonEnglish PEN
#Leveson @jheawood: We must get the LAW right. we cannot be in a situation where we are “regulating a stable door”English PEN
Heawood: underlying regulation needs to be right because media in transition and may not exist in recognisable form in 10years #LevesonAlexandra Topping
#Leveson @jheawood Discusses the ‘power’ of the press.Newspapers still may succeed where individual citizens fail, due to former’s influenceEnglish PEN
Heawood: Heather Brooke fought a long and painful battle, unsupported by institutional press (on MPs’ expenses). #LevesonHacked off
Jonathan Heawood, PEN: Current libel laws no good for either party. Cost of libel action in UK 140x more than other EU countries #LevesonGordon Rayner
Heawood at #leveson : suggesting to a room full of media lawyers libel cases here are much more expensive than elsewhere in EURoss Hawkins
#Leveson @heawood: better a noisy and under regulated society, than a quiet and over-regulated society.English PEN
Thorny issue of Article 8 vs Article 10. Which should be given primacy? #LevesonEnglish PEN
PEN @jheawood suggests that ‘harm’ should be the test for Article 8 trumping Article 10. #LevesonEnglish PEN
Jonathan @jheawood makes distinction between sources leaking stories, and press intrusion. #LevesonEnglish PEN
#leveson Heawood: friend of JK Rowling selling story problematic to make it illegal but putting note in kid’s schoolbag a form of trespasslisa o’carroll
Jonathan @jheawood says there should be no “blanket” public interest exception. It should be a “partial defence”… #LevesonEnglish PEN
PEN @jheawood Defines public interest in terms of democracy and allowing citizens to participate in life of the country. #LevesonEnglish PEN
#Leveson @jheawood asks why damages for privacy ‘damage’ so much greater than actual personal injury cases where people lose a limb!English PEN
PEN @jheawood #Leveson: if you have prior notification in privacy breaches, better that is in an editors code rather than statute.English PEN
#Leveson @jheawood says Readers Obudsman innovation at Guardian a good model for resolving complaints…English PEN
… Perhaps regulator could oblige member papers to have a Reader’s Editor? #@jheawood #LevesonEnglish PEN
PEN’s @jheawood: So-called “co-regulation” of papers seems to be a veiled form of state-regulation. #LevesonEnglish PEN
#Leveson @jheawood: I haven’t seen a model which takes the best of self-regulation and state regulation.English PEN
#leveson Heawood: co regulation talked as a holy grail. not sure the magical third way between statutory and non statutory regulation existslisa o’carroll
Leveson says he is “not sure of evidence base” for Kampfner’s assertion that press can be trusted to regulate itself #Leveson #hackingGordon Rayner
#leveson @jheawood emphasises that law needs to be right, before we look at costs and Alternative Dispute Resolution.English PEN
Lord #Leveson and @jheawood debating mediation. Will rich people not try to circumvent obligations to mediate?English PEN
#Leveson suggests wealthy individuals may use courts rather than mediate. Heawood agrees it’s a problem that has been wrestled withIndexLeveson
Heawood: the cost of defending a libel or an application for injunction is so great that it does have a potentially chilling effect #levesonHacked off
#Leveson @jheawood Discusses ‘chilling effect’ of bad laws is that certain subject go unreported. It is a bug, not a feature of law!English PEN
#Leveson “I will be surprised if anything I was doing prevents legislation” on #LibelReform.English PEN
Following the hearing, a write up on Jonanthan and John’s appearance in The Guardian.
Leveson urged to ensure libel law reform is not delayedLord Justice Leveson has been urged to do what he could to ensure reform to libel laws is not delayed because of his inquiry into press e…
The video of the hearing is available online…
Tuesday 24 January 2012 Morning

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