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Leveson Inquiry: as it happened November 14

Original Source: TELEGRAPH: MONDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2011
By Sarah Rainey and Amy Willis  8:27AM GMT 15 Nov 2011

 Rolling coverage after the first day of the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics and phone hacking where the families of Milly Dowler and Madeleine McCann were due to give evidence. 


• Leveson Inquiry: live

• Counsel Robert Jay QC: hacking is 'thriving cottage industry'

 • Jay: 28 NI journalists may have worked with Glenn Mulcaire

 • Leveson Inquiry: newspapers warned not to target witnesses

 • Sun and Mirror reporters dragged into hacking inquiry

 • More than 50 core participants, including Milly Dowler's family




18.00 We're going to end our coverage of the Leveson Inquiry for today.



Join us tomorrow morning for live news, reaction and analysis from the inquiry, which starts again at 10am at the Royal Courts of Justice.



For our full coverage and stories from today's proceedings, visit our Leveson Inquiry and phone hacking archives.



17.55 Another snippet from the Society of Editors conference, which was running alongside the Leveson Inquiry today.


Richard Caseby, managing editor of The Sun, said the paper technically breached the Bribery Act as it helped to secure the first conviction under the new legislation.


The paper paid Munir Yakub Patel £500, in exchange for which he used his job as an admin clerk at Redbridge Magistrates' Court to avoid putting details of a traffic summons offence on a court database.


Caseby urged Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke to consider bringing in a public interest defence to the Bribery Act 2010, saying the current laws left his reporters open to prosecution.


But Mr Clarke ruled out the move, saying the director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer QC would simply dismiss any cases where prosecution was not in the public interest.




The Sun was mentioned by Robert Jay QC at today's hearing


17.52 Our video team have sent this clip of those revelations about Glenn Mulcaire's notebook:



17.48 Sticking with the Daily Mail, tomorrow the inquiry will hear from Jonathan Caplan QC, the barrister for Associated Newspapers.


According to his professional profile, Caplan, who has more than 20 years' experience as a silk, specialises in fraud, corporate liability and media law.


He is described as "one of the most popular performers at the Criminal Bar", who "can hold a jury in the palm of his hand"




Tomorrow the inquiry will hear from representatives for the Daily Mail and Telegraph


17.40 Liz Hartley, head of editorial legal services at Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail, has criticised the two-part Leveson Inquiry for starting before the police investigation into hacking has been completed.


Speaking at the Society of Editors conference, she said she could not think of "any other inquiry trying to tackle a problem that you can't define", the Guardian reports.


She said:


Lord Justice Leveson had to find a narrative to what are perceived to be problems in the media.. So far it seems to be a one-horse race.. It is not possible to get to the bottom of News International's actions because the criminal inquiries have not been completed.




Paul Dacre, editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail, spoke at the Leveson seminars


17.30 Here is a quick round-up of the main points to come out of today's proceedings:


• Robert Jay QC said phone hacking was a "thriving cottage industry" at News International

 • He said the names of 28 NI journalists were found in the notebooks of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who carried out over 2,000 covert activities for just four reporters

 • The names of Sun and Daily Mirror journalists were also found in Mulcaire's notebooks, Jay said

 • Tougher press regulation may be needed, Jay said, adding that the PCC "needs more teeth"

 • The Leveson Inquiry will not be confined to phone hacking but will look at all aspects of media ethics

 • Witnesses, including 'fake sheikh' Mazher Mahmood, and core participants will start giving evidence next Monday

 • Newspapers were warned not to target witnesses, particularly journalists who speak out about employers

 • Lord Justice Leveson said the main aim of the inquiry is to find out "who guards the guardians?"

 • Neil Garnham QC, acting for the Met Police, said the force would assist the inquiry to ensure a "healthy relationship" between police and the press in future




Lord Justice Leveson has completed the first day of his inquiry


17.10 While barristers and witnesses will address Lord Justice Leveson in their evidence in Part One of this inquiry, don't forget about his team of advisers who will be present at the RCJ throughout.


Here is our guide to the panel of six experts who will assist him in his decisions and recommendations.


17.01 Here's a clip from our video team showing Neil Garnham QC, barrister for the Met Police, saying the force wants to learn from its past errors and assist the Leveson Inquiry:




16.44 While all eyes have been on the Leveson Inquiry today, two other important media events have been taking place.


MPs sitting on the Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions have heard from a number of prolific bloggers, including Paul Staines (Guido Fawkes), Jamie East (Holy Moly) and David Allen Green (Jack of Kent).


It is also the second day of the annual Society of Editors conference, which today heard from Ken Clarke.


Labour MP Tom Watson cancelled his appearance at the conference to seek advice from the Speaker John Bercow after claims that he was among a number of MPs put under surveillance by the News of the World in 2009.


Media commentator Roy Greenslade said the newspaper had used private investigators and journalists to trail "every member" of the Culture Select Committee.


The surveillance was ordered by a "senior executive" and continued for between three and 10 days, he told Sky News.




Tom Watson was one of the MPs to quiz NI chairman James Murdoch


16.25 Lord Justice Leveson said a full transcript of today's evidence will be published online before the end of the day. We'll let you know as soon as it goes up.


A full list of witnesses who will be called to the RCJ from next Monday will also be published. This list is expected to cover witnesses up until November 28, with a complete list going online later this week.




Christopher Jefferies, former landlord of Joanna Yeates, will give evidence


16.19 The Guardian's James Robinson tweets his reaction from today's hearing:


That's it until tomorrow. fascinating detail on scale of alleged NI involvement from Inquiry QC. incredibly damaging, in my view #Leveson.


16.10 In case you missed it, here's a video of Robert Jay QC saying hacking at the News of the World was unlikely to be confined to a "single rogue reporter":




15.58 Lord Justice Leveson has brought the hearing to a close for the day. It will resume tomorrow morning at 10am. Stay tuned in the meantime for more comment and reaction.


15.50 Neil Garnham QC ends his submissions with a round-up of the main risks in the relationships between press and the MPS, for example receiving gifts.


He says the force has made a number of changes, adding:


We acknowledge that not all the MPS's relationships with the press in the past have met the requirements of being ethical and transparent.


15.48 Stepping outside Court 73 for a minute, news that former Met assistant commissioner John Yates has been cleared of misconduct by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).


He was investigated in the wake of the summer phone hacking scandal, amid allegations that the force's inquiry into illegal activities at the News of the World was inadequate.


Yates said he was "extremely pleased that the IPCC have cleared me of all misconduct matters". He added:


As I stated at the time of my resignation, I acted with complete integrity and my conscience is clear. It is a matter of great regret that these referrals forced my premature resignation.




Former Met assistant commissioner John Yates resigned in July


15.44 Mr Garnham addresses the allegations of police payments and collusion in the phone hacking scandal:


We would suggest that a society in which there is no contact between police and the press would be unhealthy and potentially undemocratic.


A healthy relationship between press and police can be mutually beneficial, but too close a relationship - we would suggest - can distort judgement by both parties.


15.35 Neil Garnham QC is setting out the Metropolitan Police's role and involvement in the inquiry.


He tells Lord Justice Leveson:


The MPS will not adopt a defensive stance. It stands ready to assist you in your work and to learn from any errors the inquiry may reveal. The MPS has not been content, however, to sit back and await the outcome of your work. It has already taken a number of steps to point out any deficiencies in its work and learn from the error.




The Metropolitan Police are still investigating phone hacking claims


15.20 Mr Sherborne has interrupted the hearing to say he has received an alert to say there is a "trojan horse" computer virus on his intranet in the RCJ.


He tells Lord Justice Leveson he has a large amount of confidential information on his computer and asks permission to rise to sort the problem out.


A few laughs in the courtroom as he says the threat is in "big red letters much like the font used by the News of the World".


The BBC's Ross Hawkins tweets:


Inquiry now reading computer error messages. #leveson sounding a little like IT support. Leveson decides to move on


15.15 The hearing has resumed. Neil Garnham, acting for the Metropolitan Police, will give evidence first.


Associated Newspapers' lawyer Jonathan Caplan will speak tomorrow morning, as well as a representative from the Daily Telegraph.


On Wednesday, the inquiry will hear from the NUJ General Secretary at 10am, followed by Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger at 11am, and then David Sherborne, acting for a group of phone hacking and other victims.


15.08 James Kirkup, the Telegraph's deputy political editor, is tweeting live from the RCJ on the first day of the Leveson Inquiry.


He says Robert Jay QC's afternoon session started like a "tutorial on media law", adding:


#Leveson Jay makes Freudian slip? 'The extent to which the public acts collusively with the Press.' (He meant police, not public)


15.00 The FT's Ben Fenton summarises the order of events in Part One of the inquiry over the coming months:


1st #leveson witnesses will be victims. Then people in Motorman. Then critcs of the press. Then press themselves. Then BBC and broadcasters.


14.55 Jay seems to be bringing his opening remarks to a close. He says:


The unaccountable power of the press, or the appearance of it, is a consistent theme here.


He says the inquiry will hear from witnesses first, then a number of newspaper reporters and proprietors who are counted among the "core participants" of the inquiry.


Another short break in the proceedings - the hearing will resume in 15 minutes.


14.50 Chris Bryant, the Labour MP, has been following today's hearing. He tweets:


Jay QC says no journalists have argued hacking was ok. But Kelvin Mckenzie certainly did. And many poo pooed the issue. #Leveson




Kelvin McKenzie, former editor of the Sun, arrives at one of the Leveson seminars


14.42 Robert Jay QC continues on the PCC Editors' Code of Practice:


The truth is, both the public and politicians seem to have lost faith in it. Its work is largely done behind the scenes and the public cannot fully assess its role. That is the nature of the beast.


However, limited resources of the PCC mean that it cannot afford to probe, and it cannot require a newspaper to print an apology on the same page as an offending article, neither does it have the power to fine papers nor order them to pay compensation.


This leads to the impression that it has no teeth, and in the face of the current situation, something altogether sharper is required.


14.30 The inquiry is now looking at the legal issues involved in a series of recent privacy cases, including those of Sir Paul McCartney and Sienna Miller.


After a few technical issues, Jay is going through the Press Complaints Commission's Code of Practice on a screen in the courtroom.


Here's the full 16-point Editors' Code of Practice outlined by the PCC.




Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney launched a privacy action after press intrusion


14.25 Robert Jay QC runs through a list of measures all newspapers should have in place to ensure high ethical standards. These include:


• Rule books

 • Codes of practice

 • Training and internal seminars

 • Proper in-house legal advisers

 • Accounting systems for cash payments

 • Proper whistelblowing policies


14.20 Ben Fenton of the FT tweets:


Jay tells #leveson that failure to prosecute journalists, or more journalists, may be why NotW culture of illegality arose.


14.15 Jay says the inquiry will deal with the law of privacy, which balances Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights.


Article 8 is the right to respect for private and family life, while Article 10 secures freedom of expression.


He continues:


Phone hacking is not in accordance to the law. It follows that in the issue of the Article 8 and Article 10 interception, privacy will always win out in the case of phone hacking.


Key privacy cases to date include those of model Naomi Campbell, former F1 boss Max Mosley and footballer Rio Ferdinand.


14.07 Lord Justice Leveson interrupts Jay to tell him he should not make pronouncements on the interpretation of s.2(7) of RIPA, which covers the meaning and interpretation of "interception".


Titters from the courtroom as he says that although Jay's words are "persuasive and interesting", he cannot make definitive remarks on matters of legal interpretation.


Here's a link to the full text of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.


14.04 Robert Jay QC has reopened the afternoon's inquiry.


He starts with phone hacking and the current regulatory system:


Phone hacking is an offence under RIPA (the Regulatory and Investigative Powers Act), as it was under the 1985 Act. The act covers the interception of any communications, including postal communications.


He returns to Glenn Mulcaire, Clive Goodman and allegations of hacking and voicemail interception at NotW.




Lord Justice Leveson continues to preside over the inquiry


13.55 Just a few minutes to go now until this afternoon's inquiry hearing resumes.


For anyone who missed this morning's session, here's a Q & A reminder of what the Leveson Inquiry is all about.


13.35 Josh Halliday, reporter at the Guardian, has tweeted the following about Jay's suggestion that Mulcaire's notebook contained the name of a Daily Mirror reporter:


Trinity Mirror says it has no knowledge of ever using Glenn Mulcaire


13.20 Here's our profile of Lord Justice Leveson, the man behind today's inquiry.


13.10 Meanwhile, we have put together a Twitter list of journalists, MPs, campaigners and others who are covering the Leveson Inquiry. We will add more names to the list as the inquiry progresses.


13.00 The hearing has stopped for lunch and will resume again at 2pm. Stay tuned for more analysis and reaction in the meantime.


12.57 Let's have a look at some of those numbers Jay mentioned:


2,266: Number of times Glenn Mulcaire was allegedly tasked with carrying out private investigations

 28: Number of legible corner names in his notebooks

 4: Number of journalists who apparently account for 2,143 of the taskings

 38: Number of times 'blagging' jobs were carried out by Glenn Mulcaire

 586: Number of voicemails, intended for 64 different people, intercepted by Mulcaire between 2001 and 2009

 690: Number of audio recordings police found when they raided Mulcaire's offices in 2006

 318: Number of calls Mulcaire allegedly made to other people's voicemail numbers




The police investigation into hacking allegations at News International is ongoing


12.55 Lots of reaction online to those revelations about Mulcaire's notebook.


The Guardian's James Robinson tweets:


Jay: Inquiry seen 'documentary evidence' in Mulcaire notes on Jude Law 'relating to the Mirror'. V significant #leveson


Ben Fenton of the FT writes:


28 legible corner names in Mulcaire notebooks. Wow. Police believe hacking continued to at least 2009. Started at latest May 2001. #leveson wow again.




Actor Jude Law sued The Sun over phone hacking allegations


12.46 While journalists are still enthusiastic about Robert Jay QC's submissions, wider interest in the Leveson Inquiry seems to be waning. Sky's James Old tweets:


Only 6 seats currently occupied in the large public area of the #Leveson inquiry annexe.


12.45 Jay says "it is clear that Goodman was not a rogue reporter". He says a list of names in Mulcaire's notebook shows that at least another 27 News of the World employees might have been involved in underhand activities.


He describes hacking as "a thriving cottage industry", asking:


Is there a culture of denial - or, even worse, a cover up at News International?



12.40 Robert Jay QC earlier mentioned the What Price Privacy Now report. This document detailed the findings of Operation Motorman, the inquiry in 2006 that found 3,522 suspected cases of illegal access to records by the media.


Here is the What Price Privacy Now report in full:


What Price Privacy



12.31 Jay tells the court about a series of "corner names" written in Glenn Mulcaire's notebook, believed to be those for whom he was carrying out his private investigations.


He says they were "A", "B", "C", "I" and "Clive", the latter apparently representing former News of the World royal reporter Clive Goodman. A total of 28 names were discovered.


The counsel is looking at the extent to which those within News International were aware that phone hacking was taking place. He quotes from the legal opinion of Michael Silverleaf QC, about which News International chairman James Murdoch was questioned extensively by the Commons select committee last week.


Here's our coverage of James Murdoch's second appearance before MPs over the phone hacking scandal.




James Murdoch addresses the Commons select committee last Thursday


12.25 Jay is now addressing the infamous "for Neville" email, said to be proof that phone hacking had been carried out on behalf of the News of the World in the case of Gordon Taylor, the chief of the Professional Footballers' Association, before 2008.


He says:


News International has made admissions in about a dozen cases, along the lines that Glenn Mulcaire accessed voicemails. News International has accepted vicarious liability for the acts of Mulcaire, but not for the acts of those within their organisation who tasked or commissioned him.


In the Sienna Miller litigation, he says, News International went further in their admissions about phone hacking than in any other case.


12.20 The Guardian's James Robinson tweets:


Jay critical of NI over hacking. Says company must have known in '07 that Clive Goodman not only NoW hack commissioning Mulcaire


12.10 He is now speaking about the arrest and trial of Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire over the News of the World phone hacking allegations in 2006 and 2007.


Goodman, using confidential information supplied by Mulcaire, was jailed after pleading guilty to unlawfully interception voicemail messages intended for Princes William and Harry.


He says Mulcaire was being paid £92,000 a year from September 1, 2001, when he was hired by NotW.




Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire was hired by NotW


12.00 Robert Jay QC has reopened the inquiry.


He is discussing Operation Motorman, the 2003 investigation by the Information Commissioner's Office into allegations of offences under the Data Protection Act by the British press.


He says:


Operation Motorman uncovered the scale of the use of private investigators by the press. One journalist requested 679 bits of information at a cost of £26,000


11.54 Here is a reminder of Lord Justice Leveson explaining that newspapers will be monitored to ensure witnesses' rights are not being abused.



11.50 The inquiry has taken a short break. Here's a round-up of what's happened so far:


Inquiry counsel Robert Jay QC is outlining how the Leveson Inquiry will proceed.


He praises the investigative work of the Guardian for uncovering phone hacking at NOTW and The Daily Telegraph for the MPs expenses scandal.


Press warned not to go after witnesses who will appear at the inquiry. Witnesses are expected to include JK Rowling, Christopher Jefferies and the parents of Milly Dowler. A good list can be found here.


Unlawful and unethical news-gathering methods will be examined. He calls phone hacking a form of subterfuge – a practice outlined in the Press Complaints Commission’s Code of Conduct. He also says the practice of paying sources for information will be investigated.


He also makes the point that sometimes “blagging” information can be in the public interest as with the Sunday Times expose on Col Gaddafi’s funding of the National Union of Miners in the 1980s.


The ‘fake sheikh’ will give evidence. There has been speculation on Twitter that this may be done from behind a screen to protect his identity. The ‘fake sheikh’, otherwise known as Mazher Mahmood, was praised for his work at News of the World uncovering the Pakistani cricketer match-fixing scandal. However Robert Jay QC also said he would be questioned about some of his other methods.




Mazher Mahmood wrote a number of undercover stories for the News of the World


11.40 Robert Jay QC continues to make his way through his opening file.


He has criticised the original phone hacking case concerning the interception of Prince Charles' calls in 1989, condemning it as "not investigative journalism, but a fishing expedition".


He adds that it is up to a newspaper editor to ensure that the means by which a story is obtained are lawful. He says the key question is:


What does the public interest mean and who judges it?



11.32 The counsel has laid out six different categories of press misbehaviour that the inquiry will look at:


• Electronic surveillance or intrusion

 • Data theft eg. going through bins or stealing diaries

 • Agent provocateur

 • Payments to witnesses or private investigators

 • Phone and email hacking

 • Catch-all: "unfair, unethical and underhand" press activities




Phone hacking at the NotW under the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks is just one part of the inquiry


11.30 Jay is setting out the difference between private detectives, blagging and subterfuge. He says: "violation of privacy is a common theme and subterfuge is a common theme" in the press:


The press in common with many institutions including solicitors use search engines to find pieces of information which are in the public domain. Private investigators or detectives use different methods to seek out pieces of information which are not in the public domain.


He says 'fake sheikh' Mazher Mahmood has submitted a witness statement and will give oral evidence to the inquiry.


11.24 As Jay continues his opening speech, here's a reminder of the timeline of events leading up to the Leveson Inquiry.


11.22 James Old from Sky News is tweeting live from the inquiry. He writes:


Jay repeatedly uses a "stables cleansed of dung" analogy to explore whether immoral practices are still going on in the UK press. #Leveson


11.15 Robert Jay QC continues:


The press must be allowed to be opinionated, irascible, sceptical and obsessive


He praises The Telegraph's MPs' expenses scoop, as well as The Guardian for its pursuit of the phone hacking story.


11.07 James Kirkup, our deputy political editor, has written an analysis of what to expect today.


He says Lord Leveson will have to balance any number of powerful imperatives and forces including press freedom:


Who watches the watchmen? The question first posed by the Roman poet Juvenal has hung over every society where power is dispersed between institutions.


In Western democracies, some of that power rests with the media, and in Britain, that still largely means newspapers. For centuries, papers have had the power to scrutinise, to reveal and to condemn. For politicians, that power is often irksome and sometimes career-ending.


Many now argue that Britain's free Press has been too free, that the system of self-regulation has failed and some outside body or authority must now be created to oversee journalists' activities.


As the cliche says, with power comes responsibility. Has every newspaper journalist used the power of the Press properly? The closure of the News of the World gives an obvious answer. But what of the rest of the industry?




The Leveson Inquiry will recommend a new regulatory system for the press


11.01 Jay encourages journalists to speak out against their employers if they believe media ethics are at risk.


He urges them to find the "moral courage" to whistleblow, adding that they may be granted anonymity if necessary.


He says Part One of the inquiry will be divided into four modules:


• Press and the public

 • Press and the police

 • Press and politicians

 • Broader policy questions of what changes should be made to the regulatory system


10.56 Jay continues:


The more it seems that practices are generic and the more widespread they are, the easier it will be to imply broken practices and the existence of a culture.


Sometimes the existence of a culture arises from the operation of more subtle and complex causes, from complacency leading to arrogance. There is clearly a range of possibilities.




Robert Jay QC is leading counsel to the Leveson Inquiry


10.50 He says the press is "an extraordinary powerful range of institutions".


Ben Fenton, media correspondent at the FT, tweets:


Jay says parameters cd not be broader. Not limited to hacking. Cannot say "no stone unturned" cause if so would be here for 3yrs #leveson


10.45 Robert Jay QC starts his opening speech with a reminder of the allegations that News International hacked the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.


He says:


The cart has been placed very much before the horse. Part Two of the inquiry should be taking place before Part One. This inquiry cannot compel witnesses to answer questions which might incriminate themselves.


It is public knowledge that the police have arrested at least 13 individuals who are suspects in these investigations, and they may arrest more.




Murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, whose voicemail was allegedly hacked on behalf of NotW


10.43 Leveson has permitted journalists to tweet "unobtrusively" during the hearing.


He also says those named among the 46 'core participants' will not be required to attend during the proceedings, and absence will not be detrimental to their evidence. He aims to conclude the inquiry by the end of September 2012.


The inquiry will sit seven days a fortnight - excluding Fridays - starting at 10am each day.


10.41 Guardian media correspondent James Robinson tweets:


Leveson confirms he has visited Mail, Mirror newsrooms - but also NI. Last one must have been interesting #leveson


10.36 Lord Justice Leveson says the aim of the inquiry is to find out "who guards the guardians".


He says concern has been expressed that witness who speak out about phone hacking or other illegal activities might be targeted:


I have absolutely no wish to stifle freedom of speech or expression, but I anticipate that monitoring will take place of press coverage over the coming months and it might be necessary to conclude that those vital rights are being abused.


He says transcripts of the inquiry's proceedings will be posted daily on the website.


10.34 He continues:


In part one of this inquiry, the brush will be quite broad, because it cannot lead to a detailed analysis that will lead me to applaud one newspaper and criticise another.


A large number of those involved were either invited to give evidence or required to do so. We are still receiving evidence and it may be that some evidence is heard out of turn.




Lord Justice Leveson has opened the inquiry into media ethics


10.30 Lord Justice Leveson has opened the inquiry, starting with a summary of events to date.


He tells assembled journalists and lawyers:


I fully consider freedom of expression and freedom of the press to be fundamental to democracy, fundamental to our way of life. But that right must be expressed with the rights of others in mind.


10.21 Sam Marsden, chief reporter at the Press Association, tweets:


Bit busier now - around a dozen journalists waiting for the start of Leveson hearings in the overspill annexe at the Royal Courts of Justice


10.17 Lord Hunt, the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, has done an interview with The Guardian after taking over as head of the regulatory body.


While Leveson will look for an alternative regulatory system for the press, Lord Hunt needs to convince politicians, the public and the inquiry that the PCC should be preserved.


He said that he believes the greatest threat to journalistic integrity comes not from tabloids but bloggers, including Guido Fawkes - but he says the PCC is more than equipped to deal with this:


My way is to look forward, not back. Events [hacking and Leveson] have conspired to provide us with a great opportunity to set up a lasting structure that will be clearly in the public interest. And public interest is the guiding philosophy.


10.06 Less than half an hour to go and the seats are filling up fast in Court 73 at the RCJ.


Thais Portilho-Shrimpton, coordinator of the Hacked Off campaign, tweets that journalists are expecting to hear from News International today, as well as opening remarks from Robert Jay QC.


She says national newspapers have been allocated seats in the court room, while others are having to fight for space:


Off to #Leveson. Since they're ignoring 'first come first served' rule for journalists in an open court, must find a place in the annex room




The Hacked Off campaign sought a public inquiry after the phone hacking scandal


09.45 Trevor Kavanagh, associate editor at The Sun, and Roy Greenslade, media commentator at The Guardian, were having a healthy debate on the Today programme this morning.


Kavanagh said excessive legislation could limit press freedom. He said he thought that "newspapers, by and large, live by the letter of the law".


But he was concerned about the lack of tabloid representatives on Leveson's panel of assessors:


The representation of the tabloid press is not sufficient. In fact it doesn't exist.


Meanwhile, Greenslade said the press had a tendency to "get carried away with its own power". He added:


The Leveson Inquiry is a prod to the industry to cure itself, to sort itself out


09.30 This morning we're expecting to hear from counsel to the Leveson Inquiry, Robert Jay QC, who will explain why the hearing is taking place and what is likely to happen over the next three months.


Robert Jay QC is a barrister from 39 Essex Street, a chambers in London, who specialises in public law, personal injury and clinical negligence, commercial cases and education.


According to his online profile, he became a QC in 1998 and is a deputy High Court judge as well as joint head of his chambers.


He attended New College, Oxford, is fluent in French and is described on his CV as being a "meticulous analyst" with a "really sharp brain" and "compelling written and oral arguments."


Jay will be assisted by David Barr, a human rights lawyer with 18 years' experience, and Carine Patry Hoskins, an expert in public and administrative law.




The inquiry will be held in Court 73 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London


09.28 Last week, Alan Rusbridger, the editor of the Guardian, gave the annual Orwell lecture on journalism.


Entitled 'Hacking Away at the Truth', he urged journalists to "seize the opportunity" in the Leveson Inquiry and agree on a "regulator with teeth" to strengthen the quality press.


Rusbridger continued:


As all honest journalists know, newspapers are full of errors, crude over-simplifications, mistakes of emphasis, contestable interpretations and things which should have been phrased differently. It seems silly to pretend otherwise, yet many newspapers do.


So a good starting point for Lord Justice Leveson would be to make it a condition of belonging to a voluntary regulation regime that newspapers should employ, on a properly independent basis, a readers' editor to correct and clarify material promptly and prominently.  



Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger called for a "regulator with teeth" for the press


09.25 James Kirkup, the Telegraph's deputy political editor, will be at the RCJ for the opening of the inquiry today. He will be tweeting and blogging live updates for us throughout the day.


Follow James on Twitter @jameskirkupor read his latest blog post.


09.21 The Leveson Inquiry is due to start at 10.30am today and will be streamed live from the Royal Courts of Justice.


The tweets are already coming thick and fast.


Ross Hawkins, BBC political correspondent, says Lord Justice Leveson has been doing his research ahead of today's hearing. He tweets:


Lord Justice #Leveson has visited newsrooms of Mirror, Mail and Southampton Echo ahead of hearings


09.20 Here are some of the main terms of reference for Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry:


Part One:


To inquire into the culture, practices, and ethics of the press, including contacts between newspapers and politicians, and the press and the police.


To make recommendations for a new, more effective regulatory regime which supports the integrity and freedom of the press, the plurality of the media and its independence.


Part Two:


To inquire into the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International and other newspaper organisations, including looking at the review by the Metropolitan Police of their initial investigation and the extent to which the police received corrupt payments or were otherwise complicit in the misconduct.


A full list of the terms of reference can be found on the inquiry website.




Part Two of the inquiry will be carried out after the police investigation into hacking is complete


09.18 Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, was speaking last night at the 2011 Society of Editors lecture.


In his speech, entitled 'Ethics and journalism after the News of the World', he defended press self-regulation, arguing that statutory regulation would be inappropriate for newspapers.


Lord Patten said:


Statutory regulation of the press would, in my view, be more than wrong-headed. It would pose a real danger to the public discourse that underpins our democracy.


It would be wrong to try to import any model of regulation from the broadcast media to the press... Newspapers themselves need to find ways to re-build public trust in what they do.


09.15 Sir Brian Henry Leveson QC, the man heading up the inquiry, was appointed to the post in July this year.


Formerly a barrister in Liverpool, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1986 and is an honorary fellow of Merton College, Oxford.


Now a Lord Justice of Appeal, he has also been a High Court judge and senior presiding judge, as well as currently serving as chairman of the Sentencing Council. In 1995 he prosecuted serial killer Rose West.


Lord Justice Leveson will be assisted by a panel of six assessors, who were appointed by David Cameron for their expertise on the subject of media ethics.


They are: former Financial Times chairman Sir David Bell, Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti, former Ofcom chairman Lord Currie, former Channel 4 News political editor Elinor Goodman, former Daily Telegraph political editor George Jones and former West Midlands police chief constable Sir Paul Scott-Lee.




Lord Justice Leveson (centre) and his panel of six assessors


09.10 So how will the inquiry work?


The two part inquiry, established under the Inquiries Act 2005, started in October with a series of preliminary seminars featuring high-profile speakers including newspaper editors and reporters.


Paul Dacre, editor at Associated Newspapers, told the inquiry that press regulation would put democracy in danger, while Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said British press freedom was a "model for the world".


09.09 The first part of the inquiry is expected to run for three months, during which Lord Justice Leveson will hear evidence from up to 50 "core participants" including newspaper groups and those thought to have been affected by unethical journalism.


These include Milly Dowler's family, Madeleine McCann's parents and celebrities Sienna Miller, Hugh Grant and JK Rowling.


The first witness is expected to appear on November 21.


A full list of core participants can be found on the Leveson Inquiry website.




Sienna Miller, Hugh Grant and JK Rowling may be called to give evidence


09.05 The Leveson Inquiry was set up by Prime Minister David Cameron in July at the height of the phone hacking scandal.


It came after revelations that a private detective working for the News of the World hacked the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.


The aim of the inquiry is to look at the culture, practices, and ethics of the press in a bid to weed out illegal practices including phone hacking, private detectives and covert surveillance.


It is split into two parts:


Part one - focusing on ethics - will make recommendations on the future of press regulation to both maintain freedom of the press and ensure high ethical and professional standards.


Part two - focusing on phone hacking - will look at the News of the World scandal but will take place at a later date to avoid prejudicing the ongoing police investigation into the phone hacking scandal and any future trials.




Lord Justice Leveson will lead the inquiry into media ethics


09.00 Welcome to our rolling coverage of the Leveson Inquiry live from the Royal Courts of Justice in London.


The public inquiry into journalistic ethics was launched in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that engulfed News International in July and August.


For full coverage of the events leading up to the inquiry, visit our Leveson Inquiry and phone hacking archives.

Leveson Inquiry: as it happened November 16
Leveson Inquiry: as it happened November 15
Leveson Inquiry: as it happened November 14


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