The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

  • Thank you very much.

    Sir, very briefly, we've obviously set out our submissions on this and we do see it as an important issue, as I'm sure do you and everybody else, because a public inquiry, of course, is a public event, and as far as possible everybody wants to know what evidence is given to you.

    If it is strictly necessary, of course, to derogate from that general principle, and no less restrictive option is available, then of course in those circumstances, a procedure has to be devised.

    Sir, the matters obviously that concern us are certainly that if evidence is given, critical of a party or by a journalist or a third party, that there should be an opportunity to challenge that evidence and to put the other side. Otherwise, of course, the risk is obvious, that it will be given unchallenged and there will be a question as to what weight, if any, can be given to it. Therefore, one does need to divide a procedure which will allow, so far as possible, core participants to make representations to you in relation to each individual application, and that's what we have sought to do in the protocol which we have devised.

  • Yes. Thank you very much indeed.

    Mr Rhodri Davies, do you want to say anything on this topic?

  • Thank you. Where am I going?

  • Just this, and I'm sorry to be an irritation, but the protocol ought not to be limited just to core participants, if the allegations are made against those who are not core participants.

  • Well, yes, but, Mr Chawla, we've done this. The fact is that if any allegation is made that touches upon any individual, the rules require me to allow the representative of that individual to put questions to the counsel to the Inquiry to ask or to ask me whether they can ask questions, so I understand the point. Thank you.

    Ms Decoulos, what's the interest that you have on this issue?

  • It's not on this particular issue, but I don't want you to close before I have an opportunity to say something, because it's getting close to lunch.

  • But I think I'll be back after lunch.

  • I may not be; we'll see in a moment. Mr Sherborne?

  • I have no observations.

  • Thank you very much. Anybody else?

    All right. What's the point you want to make, Ms Decoulos.

  • As you know, I applied to become a core participant and you denied me, so I felt that was very unfair, considering I'm not a phone hacking victim, but as Mr Jay just emphasised a few moments ago, this Inquiry is also about the standards, practices and ethics of the press, which (inaudible), so unfortunately I felt I had to put in an application for judicial review, which I think you might be aware of, and I'm very concerned that my application will not be determined before this Inquiry commences, and I think that's unfair --

  • Ms Descoulos, that's a concern you should express to the Administrative Court. There's nothing that I can do about it. I have no intention of delaying the conduct of this Inquiry. You're entitled judicially to review my decisions, that's absolutely within your right, but concerns about the timetable, therefore, should go to the Administrative Court.

  • Thank you. Can I just say one other thing that Mr Caplan raised about the documents being made public? I'm concerned that there have been four core participants added since I asked to be a core participant and the judgment for those have not been made public, as my own has not been made public, and I'd be grateful to know when they will be made public.

  • Yours, there's no reason why the judgment that I gave in public, in the presence of everybody who was here, should not be made public. If it's not gone on the web, there's no reason why it shouldn't. Equally, actually, there's no reason why it should. It was transcribed and I have seen it, as I'm sure you have, so there's no secret about it.

    As regards the other applications, I will give a judgment, which I shall hand down tomorrow. The reason I am not doing it now is because I am going to reflect just a little bit further on the application in relation to the Surrey Police, but I have identified what I've said about the others already, but I will give a judgment. Thank you.

    Is there anybody else who has any other issue? I have one other thing to raise.

    Right, Mr Caplan, there's one other matter that I wanted to raise with you.

  • When we last met, you were making submissions about, among other things, the lectures or briefings, and the seminars, and I made it abundantly clear how I saw them going, but I said that I will be very pleased to receive any submissions that anybody wanted to make, if it was felt that what had happened in relation to the briefings had been wrong or needed correction or balance. So I just wanted to emphasise that if you did want to make any submissions in that regard, because a fair number of your clients were certainly present at most, if not all, of those events, then I would, of course, be very happy to receive them.

  • Thank you very much.

  • Anything else? Thank you very much, indeed.

  • (The hearing concluded)