Chartered Institute of Journalists legal challenge for Privy Council over Royal Charter - Press Gazette

Chartered Institute of Journalists legal challenge for Privy Council over Royal Charter

The Chartered Institute of Journalists has lodged a legal challenge with the Privy Council over the proposed Royal Charter for the regulation of the press.

The Newspaper Society has already said that it believes the Charter, agreed in a cross-party deal last month, may be unconstitutional because it is being imposed on a largely unwilling industry. The NS, backed by the PPA and most of the national newspaper publishers, has lodged a rival Royal Charter for consideration at the next meeting of the Privy Council on 15 May.

Now the CIoJ has warned that Parliament's press regulation plan may impinge on its Charter – which was granted by Queen Victoria in 1890.

Among the aims and objective set out in the CIoJ charter are: “The ascertainment of the law and practice relating to all things connected with the journalistic profession and the exercise of supervision over its members when engaged in professional duties.”

CIoJ president Charlie Harris said: "We have legal advice that the charter sent by Parliament to the Privy Council for royal assent has serious implications for our own charter and that we have a right to be consulted before any new charter that overlaps with ours is laid before Her Majesty for approval.

"Our general secretary Dominic Cooper has written to the Privy Council pointing out the possible conflict and saying that we would like to discuss the implications."

The Institute said that it is “totally opposed to any state involvement in the enforcement of professional ethics”.

Harris said: “In a free society, a press under state control is a far greater danger than a press out of control.”



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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette