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

What I'm suggesting is there ought to be a statutory enforcement mechanism, rather than a voluntary enforcement mechanism, but that the code of practice that would call this statutory body into being ought to be voluntarily agreed with the press. I think it would be possible to agree proper behaviour with the press.

I would like the body that has a responsibility for enforcement to agree with the press what is proper and what is not. It may not achieve all we would like but it is better to do that on a voluntary basis than to have to do it in statutory fashion, which I would be disinclined to do. I think we should try and do it on a voluntary basis, but once that has happened, the statutory body should have the power for enforcement of the voluntarily agreed code. The voluntarily agreed code should not be in the hands of editors, proprietors and other members of the press. It should be entirely independent. It can have press members on it but the predominance of it should be independents and they should have the power to impose the sort of sanctions I talked of earlier.

So I'm looking for a voluntary code with a statutory capacity to enforce sanctions if that code is infringed.

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