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  1. Media Law
January 7, 2014

Scotland will adopt press regulation Royal Charter if it votes yes to independence

By Emma McGarthy

The Scottish Government has said that the Royal Charter on press regulation will apply north of the border should Scotland vote yes to independence later this year.

A Scottish government spokesman told The Drum: “With the agreement of the Scottish government, the Royal Charter on self-regulation of the press that was ordered to be sealed at a meeting of the Privy Council on 30 October 2013 extends to Scotland.

“That charter establishes a recognition mechanism for a new regulator that meets certain criteria. It will be for the press to actually establish a regulator or regulators. Independence need make no difference to this."

Most UK newspaper publishers are in the process of setting up their own regulator – called the Independent Press Standards Organisation – which falls outside the Royal Charter system. It is set to be up and running by April.

John McLellan, director of the Scottish Newspaper Society, told The Drum: "By September Ipso will only have been up and running for a maximum of 20 weeks and will not have had the time to prove its worth.

"Setting aside the referendum, I doubt whether a verdict can be delivered on Ipso for some considerable time and I cannot imagine that politicians of any hue will want to pick a fight with the press over regulation going into the 2015 general election."

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