On Thursday, the House of Lords concluded its report stage debates on the Coroners and Justice Bill (a-v; hansard transcript). This comprises a smorgasbord of reform, with many measures affecting the media in more or less significant ways. Much attention was focused on the Government's plan to allow the recovery of monies made by convicted criminals through the media exploitation of their stories.
The proposal, which the Government accepts will apply in only a very small number of instances, was criticised as 'gesture politics', and its compliance with Convention rights questioned. Ultimately, the amendment was defeated on a vote, and the measure remains part of the Bill.
Also during the report stage on the Bill, Baroness Miller (col1302 et seq) moved a further amendment that would have limited the power of the police to retain photographs taken of unarrested or uncharged protestors, photographers and others in public places. The measure would have applied to both police Forward Intelligences Teams (FIT) and other evidence gathering exercises. The amendment was withdrawn.
[Photo 1 seemed appropriate, but is in fact the cover photo for a recent novel; Photo 2 - (c) Marc Vallee]