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

In terms of the introduction of new technology, digital technology, in a way, it just allows me to build on a point that John made a moment ago about jurisdiction. I mean, there's an exemplary effect of laws made and practised in this jurisdiction. Other countries may want to emulate them.

There's also a very direct effect -- and we've seen this in libel -- because of the transjurisdictional nature of internal publications, so that suits repeatedly brought or issued in the high courts for libels which may have actually taken place involving overseas claimants and/or overseas defendants. I think that's one impact of the digital revolution on the reach of English jurisdiction, one reason to be very careful about making changes here.

The other impact, again as John has noted already, is the fact that we are all now potential publishers. The press, the institutional press, may still play a very particular role. That role has changed, it will continue to change. We're all now not merely consumers of media content; we all have the capacity, the capability to become producers of media content. So I think article 10, which for many may have been a right that was something that was slightly abstract, a right for others, is a right which actually we all now can directly enjoy through access to the Internet, and I think it's one reason why in the submission and today I want to make very clear that I think one thing we have to get right here is the underlying law. I think if we seek to regulate an industry which is actually in the process of transformation and may, in ten years' time, not exist in a recognisable time, we may be regulating, as it were, a stable door, and the horse has bolted. So the law has to be right.

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