University of  Sussex MEDIA RELEASE

The Information Office, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.

15th May l998 For immediate release

SELF REGULATION IS BETTER THAN LAW SAYS CHAIRMAN OF THE PRESS COMPLAINTS COMMISSION

In a lecture to be delivered at the University of Sussex later today, Lord Wakeham, Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission will detail the types of dispute with which the PCC becomes involved - principally matters of accuracy and intrusion into privacy. He will explain how, in his opinion, the Law could not provide nearly the same level of service for ordinary people that the PCC now does, and how any form of statutory system could also undermine the freedom of the press.

Acknowledging that sometimes people's lives can be ruined by the media, Lord Wakeham will argue nonetheless that, on balance, self regulation does produce effective self restraint and that it does work in the vast majority of disputes between individuals and newspapers - nine out of ten of which are resolved by the PCC. Self-regulation is also, he claims, free, easy and quick and produces responsibility without impinging on freedom. Moreover, he believes it will be a practical and flexible method of regulation in the new world of the Internet and the communications revolution.

In conclusion, Lord Wakeham will argue that, while it may not be perfect, self regulation can deliver more for ordinary people than a formal legal system of press restraint ever could.

Can Self-Regulation Achieve More than Law? is the eighth in the series of the Wynne Baxter Godfree Public Lectures in Law at the University of Sussex. It will be held at 6.00 tonight, Friday l5 May in the Chichester Lecture Theatre at the University.

For further information contact Sue Yates, Information Officer, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678384, Fax 01273 678335, email s.m.yates@sussex.ac.uk


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