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

I will do my best.

Obviously one goes back when talking about freedom of expression to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. There we have a kind of statutory right to freedom of expression. Actually, a relatively recent one, really, so everybody has that right.

The question I think really is not: does the press have more rights or less rights than anybody else? We all have that right. My argument would be that with the right to exercise what you might call commercial speech comes certain obligations which I don't think are really there with the right to exercise individual speech.

I would have thought that the only obligation, really, that comes to an individual when he or she is exercising that right to free speech is to make quite sure that you don't stop anybody else exercising their right, but it does seem to me that when you get commercial speech by powerful organisations which have big consequences, much, much bigger consequences than individual speech has, then certain responsibilities and duties come with that.

I've drawn quite explicitly in my witness statement on the work of Professor Onora O'Neill, and in particular her Reith Lecture on trust in the early part of this millennium. I don't know whether she's somebody who you might be inviting to speak to you, but I certainly owe her a large debt of gratitude, I think, because she certainly helped me to develop my ideas around this notion of, you know, the responsibilities which come with the ability to exercise commercial speech.

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