A letter from Baroness Buscombe published in today's Fininacial Times
A letter from the Chairman of the PCC, Baroness Buscombe, has been published in today's Financial Times (Thursday 5 August):
PCC system fills a gap left by the lawSir, I agree with your editorial ("English libel law no longer works", August 3) that English libel law is in need of reform. I do not feel, however, that you give sufficient credit to the public service that the Press Complaints Commission provides in a way that complements the law. The tortuous process for delivering reform and the length of time that libel law reform has taken (and, indeed, is still taking) contrasts sharply with the flexibility of the self-regulatory system. The PCC system allows for continuous evolution. We can adapt to cultural change, influencing and reflecting in our decisions what is, and what is not, acceptable in our society. The PCC performs a critical role in filling the gap left by the law and ensures the speedy and cost-free resolution of disputes.
The PCC has authority. We demand prominence of apologies and levels of standards. We also work to prevent, indeed pre-empt, harm and to encourage editors to think before possibly breaching the Editors' Code of Practice. The system demands a degree of trust and integrity from all those who buy into it. It works because editors are held ultimately responsible.
Press Complaints Commission
The letter can also be read online here.
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