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Thursday, 25 January 2024 - 5.30pm
Location: 
Faculty of Law, LG17

Speaker: Professor Paul Wragg, University of Leeds 

Abstract: In this paper, Professor Wragg, author of A Free and Regulated Press (Hart, 2020), explores the possibility of the Information Commissioner’s Office performing the role of an independent regulatory body capable of ensuring press accountability for serious breaches of data protection law in terms cognisant of Lord Justice Leveson’s proposals for press reform in 2012. This enquiry is framed by the terms of, and his experiences of contributing to, the draft journalism code of conduct. The draft code is presently before the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology, awaiting completion of the statutory process under s125 DPA 2018. Once it becomes law, the code has great potential to tackle press malpractice, manifesting as gross infractions of data protection law, without compromising the importance of press freedom in a democratic society. Whilst not entirely equivalent to the independent press regulatory body that Leveson LJ had in mind, still, if the ICO embraces the role, the code promises to provide the sort of meaningful protection against press malpractice that the British public is sorely in need of. 

Biography: Professor Paul Wragg is Professor of Media Law at the University of Leeds.  He has written extensively on privacy and press freedom.  His monograph on the compatibility of compulsory press regulation with press freedom was published by Hart in May, 2020.  He is co-editor (with Professor András Koltay) of a collection of papers examining comparative privacy and defamation laws, published by Edward Elgar in July 2020 and was previously editor-in-chief of Communications Law (2016-2019).  He has been at Leeds since September 2009, having previously taught at Durham University and the University of Birmingham.  

This event is a hybrid event. To attend online you must register via Zoom.

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