We have lodged some short written submissions, and may I just pick up a couple of points from those.
First, we noted your comments yesterday about considering freedom of expression and freedom of the press to be fundamental to our democracy, but also noting that all freedoms have to be exercised with regards to the rights of others.
One authority that was referred to in our note was McCartan Turkington Breen v the Times newspapers, and Lord Bingham, just at the end of that, had noted that courts here and elsewhere have recognised the cardinal importance of press freedom, and the need for any restriction on that freedom to be proportionate and no more than is necessary to promote the legitimate object of the restriction, which is of course easy to say and then sometimes difficult to work out in practice.
That does bring me on to the first substantial point that we hope to raise before you, sir, today, which is the extent to which any investigation into possible changes to the civil law governing the relationship between the press and public will be a matter for your Inquiry.
We had noted in the written submissions the comment that you had made in your ruling on the application by Ms Elaine Decoulos to become a core participant, and you noted that the approach of the press to proceedings in court to correcting libelous errors "may, I repeat may, arise at one end of the spectrum of issues to which this Inquiry relates".
Plainly, if any regulation is to be no more than is necessary, to paraphrase Lord Bingham's comment, then the existing civil and criminal remedies are plainly an important part of the picture that will need to be addressed by the Inquiry. For those reasons, we submit that, properly engaged within the terms of reference, will be at least some consideration of the extent to which civil law remedies provide, both for the reader and complainants and for the press, speedy, effective and reasonably cheap proceedings.