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

Mr Harding, over the short adjournment, I've been thinking a little bit about your concern, which you identify as a political concern rather than legal concern, about amending an Act of Parliament. That caused me to go back to legislation with which I'm sure you're very familiar, the Constitution Reform Act, which enshrines in paragraph 3(1) the following:

"The Lord Chancellor and other ministers of the Crown with responsibility for matters relating to the judiciary, or otherwise to the administration of justice, must uphold the continued independence of the judiciary."

That's what the Act says, and I was thinking about whether your point could not be met by seeking to enshrine a series of potential principles -- and I'm not seeking to define them -- in such a way that you couldn't possibly tinker without running four square into the over-arching principles to which I've just referred.

I don't ask you necessarily to respond now, because I've just put it to you. I don't require that you respond --

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