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

I would also, Mr Jay, say that Hungary isn't a far flung place about which we know little and care even less. It is now an integral member of the European Union, the European Commission and the European Parliament. The European Parliament, along with the White House, the OSCE and pretty much every UN commission under human rights -- pretty much everyone condemned or criticised the media law both in its substance and its tone, and the European Commission was -- got one or two minor changes but was pretty powerless to act.

The points where I think it is salient for this Inquiry to remember is that while the prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, seems to have some difficulties with democracy at the moment -- the constitutional court and other courts are being similarly deprived of their independence -- some of the -- many of the provisions in the media law are seemingly innocuous and mainstream. Co-regulation, licensing, fining, et cetera. If you looked at them on a piece of paper, a lot of these laws, you would say, "What's the problem with that?" Several witnesses have come to this Inquiry and advocated similar such measures, and of course the British heritage and British jurisdiction is different, but it is a case of "be careful what you wish for" because this has led to owners -- because they are part of this internal coregulation under statute provision, they're frightened stiff of any form of journalism that would lead the new adjudicator to deem them not to be fit and proper, and we have cases -- and we can bring you more, as any other organisation in this field can -- of self-censorship and of outright censorship, even in the 12 months that this law has been in existence.

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