B1467 – Prohibition of Media Identification of Suspects Bill 2019 Watch

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Saracen's Fez
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B1467 – Prohibition of Media Identification of Suspects Bill 2019, TSR Government
A

B I L L

TO

Prevent media organisations from publicly identifying suspects of crimes prior to their conviction.

BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Definitions
(1) In this Act
- "media organisations" refers to a person or entity engaged in disseminating information to the general public through a newspaper, magazine, other publication, radio, television, cable television, online website, or other medium of mass communication.
- "personal information" means any information relating to an identifiable living individual, such as name, an identification number, location data, countenance, or one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, economic, cultural or social identity of the individual.
- "suspects of crimes" refers to the investigation or arrest of an individual by the police, government or another agency.
- "conviction" refers to the formal declaration by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law that someone is guilty of a criminal offence.

2 Enforcement
(1) It shall hereby be made illegal for media organisations to publicly release personal information regarding suspects of criminal offences who have not yet been convicted unless this information is officially and publicly released first by the following groups, at which point the media may publish the information provided by:
(i) the Crown Prosecution Service, or
(ii) a police spokesperson, or
(ii) another governmental agency

(2) The violation of this Act shall result in the:
(i) remuneration to the suspect as decided by a jury and/or judge in a court of law not exceeding £7000, or
(ii) the arrest of the journalist or responsible individual for the unlawful release, with the sentence exceeding no longer than 2 years.

3 Commencement, Short Title and Extent
(1) This Act may be cited as the Media Identification Act 2018.
(2) This bill shall extend to the United Kingdom; and
(3) Shall come into force immediately.


Notes
The exposure of suspects firstly impedes the 'active' police investigation, which is in contempt of court under the Contempt of Court Act 1981. Secondly, the fierce competition of news outlets to break a story (especially involving well-known public figures) often infers that the suspect might be guilty and is thus defamatory.

For example, the widespread publication of Sir Cliff Richard being investigated over historical sexual abuse claims against him; after an investigation, the Crown Prosecution Service announced they would drop the charges.

For example, the arrest of a couple over December 2018's Gatwick airport drone attacks found them innocent after a day, despite their names, faces and addresses being publicly disclosed and leaving their reputations tarnished and vulnerable to revenge from furious travellers.
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Connor27
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No, freedom of the press.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Connor27)
No, freedom of the press.
Presumption of innocence
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Connor27
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Presumption of innocence
That would work if the press were a state institution and not a private one - the arms of the state should presume innocence, private organisations and individuals should be able to express any opinion that they wish.
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Jammy Duel
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The first two definitions are things where existing definitions should be used (they are out there somewhere

£7000 cap on damages seems rather low
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Connor27)
That would work if the press were a state institution and not a private one - the arms of the state should presume innocence, private organisations and individuals should be able to express any opinion that they wish.
And so due to being private entities they should be able to destroy the reputation of an innocent person thereby doing them great harm?
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Connor27
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
And so due to being private entities they should be able to destroy the reputation of an innocent person thereby doing them great harm?
Yep.

If the innocent person doesn’t like it they can use the existing civil procedure of suing for libel.
Last edited by Connor27; 7 months ago
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Unknown_xxo
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They should at least have day in court or been interviewed the could of been up to something more intelligent or even dangerous they shut the airport down I heard for day or couple hours I think.
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DayneD89
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No, because they would just be posted online anyway. We have laws in place for people to claim damages if they are libeled.
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Mainline421
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Aye, this is really needed. Everyone should be treated as innocent until proven guilty.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Connor27)
Yep.

If the innocent person doesn’t like it they can use the existing civil procedure of suing for libel.
And those who are unaware or unable to do so? It means that the harm principle only applies to those with the means to seek damages, and even then the harm exists. Further, given you believe in absolute free speech surely the ability to sue for libel is a great affront as it infringes upon the rights of people to make libelous comments.
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Connor27
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
And those who are unaware or unable to do so? It means that the harm principle only applies to those with the means to seek damages, and even then the harm exists. Further, given you believe in absolute free speech surely the ability to sue for libel is a great affront as it infringes upon the rights of people to make libelous comments.
Personally I disagree with the existence of libel laws but pragmatically, their existence is a fact and makes this bill even more unnecessary; I should’ve clarified.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Connor27)
Personally I disagree with the existence of libel laws but pragmatically, their existence is a fact and makes this bill even more unnecessary; I should’ve clarified.
#ConnorTheLibertarian, believes in free speech even when it causes great harm, i.e. is contrary to one of the core tenets of libertarianism
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CatusStarbright
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Freedom of the press v the presumption of innocence is always a good debate.
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Mr T 999
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Aye! Finally a government bill I can support.

I believe suspects identity should remain anonymous until convicted. Current laws put potential innocent individuals lives in jeopardy by releasing private information about them.
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JMR2019.
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Strong aye
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Andrew97
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A strong Aye from myself.
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Rakas21
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Aye.

Freedom of the press does not override my belief in innocent until proven guilty.

A fantastic bill from one of our lesser known MP's i might add.
Last edited by Rakas21; 7 months ago
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Andrew97
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(Original post by DayneD89)
No, because they would just be posted online anyway. We have laws in place for people to claim damages if they are libeled
You can claim all the damages you like, doesn’t make up for the reputational damage of being named in the media..
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Mr T 999
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Aye.

Freedom of the press does not override my belief in innocent until proven guilty.

A fantastic bill from one of our lesser known MP's i might add.
May I ask who the author is?
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