Max Mosley, former Formula One boss, is continuing his drive to spearhead efforts to implement press regulations in the UK.
Mr. Mosley’s efforts, due in large part to what he sees as flaws into the investigation of driver Ayerton Senna’s death in a fatal 1994 crash, appeared before the Levenson inquiry for the second time on Wednesday morning.
Mosley contends that Italian authorities have been focusing, through 10 years of proceedings, on a “question that didn’t matter”, that of why Senna died in the crash, and not why the car crashed.
In hopes of seeing reform made to future press regulation in the region, he brought specific measures to the inquiry, his second appearance at the Levenson inquiry since November.
Mr. Mosley, feeling that only 1% of the population can afford to bring proceedings for breach of privacy or defamation, stated that securing an injunction would cost 10,000 pounds minimum, with a trial most likely costing those bringing suit 1 million pounds. Lord Levenson believes that perhaps less than 1% of the population could afford this process.
In the inquiry, Mosley suggested creating two bodies of accountability. A Press Commission would succeed the PCC and create the rules. To enforce the new regulations, a new statutory-backed tribunal would then be created.
Funding for the new regulatory regime could be provided by a levy of as little as 0.1p for every distributed copy of any publication with distribution exceeding 30,000.
Mosley, feeling that the PCC and its editors’ code of practice committee has too much ‘inside’ influence, has stated that his proposition for a Press Commission would have more outsiders than are currently involved in the PCC, emphasizing the need for the public to be involved in the rule-making process.
Mosley, who provided to the inquiry written evidence, stated that a section of the British press had adopted a “bullying and dishonest approach to litigation” (the guardian).
He feels that the proposed Press Commission, with newspaper editors being part of the discussion, could provide a non-statutory body, provided that a statutory body is in place to prevent breaching of the rules.
Violators, under his proposed tribunal, could be fined up to 10% of the publication’s group turnover. Damages, which would be capped at 10,000 pounds, could then be referred to the high court, where higher damages could be assessed.