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

  • We will have a break in the mid-morning to give the pressed shorthand writers an opportunity to recover their strength.

    This is the second hearing intended to identify the way forward for the conduct of this Inquiry. There has been some concern expressed about the adequacy of notice. I am sorry about that and I have no doubt that, as we get into the Inquiry, the dissemination of knowledge will become rather swifter and more timeous, but while we are all trying to find our way it is inevitable that things have to be done at rather shorter notice than might otherwise be desirable.

    I am grateful to those who have raised further issues beyond those identified by Mr Jay. What I think we will do is we will go through the issues that he has identified and then deal with anything else that might arise.

    I will at some stage want to identify the need for further of these hearings but I am keen to underline that the process, which I am determined should be open, transparent and fair, is not intended to generate satellite issues which, with the greatest of respect, seem more designed to pin me down than really to take forward the issues with which I have to grapple.

    In some regards, it may be worthwhile pinning issues down but that is a different matter.

    I intend to conduct this Inquiry fairly. I am going to consider the issues fairly. Analysis of previous decisions of mine in the Court of Appeal criminal division, the Court of Appeal civil division or, indeed, the House of Lords will not assist in the ultimate view that I take because I have identified from the outset the issues with which I have to grapple and the way in which I intend to approach them.

    Everybody will have to take that on board, and they will then have to see whether the way in which I deal with the evidence and the ultimate report that I write fits the description that I have just provided.

    So with that general observation which is not intended to be a prescriptive analysis but merely to reflect my concern as I have read the various letters that have passed between different people, let us start.

    Mr Jay?

  • Ruling (14)