HomeInsightsIndependent Press Standards Organisation announces arbitration scheme

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Following a year-long pilot, IPSO has announced the details of its arbitration scheme. IPSO says that the scheme, commencing on Monday 27 November 2017, offers low-cost access to justice as envisaged in the Leveson report and replaces the pilot scheme IPSO has run for a year.

The cost for claimants to use the scheme has been cut from £300 to a maximum of £100, split into a £50 fee at the start and a further £50 if the case goes to final ruling. Publishers will fund the rest of the administration cost and all of the arbitrators’ fees.

Other amendments to the IPSO scheme include:

  • new protections for members of the public representing themselves, to ensure they are protected from having to pay large legal costs to publishers, even if they lose a case;
  • increased ability for claimants to recover their own legal costs from publishers, with safeguards to ensure that neither side incurs unreasonable costs;
  • a new power for arbitrators to require publishers to pay aggravated damages to a successful claimant, within the overall cap of £50,000; and
  • new limits on the circumstances in which a publisher can recover fees and costs from a claimant.

IPSO says that its arbitration scheme is a method of dispute resolution used to provide a cost-effective, straightforward and quick method of solving legal disputes between claimants and participating members of the press, including claims for libel, slander, misuse of private information, breach of confidence, malicious falsehood, harassment and data protection. It is a voluntary scheme in which both parties agree to binding arbitration overseen by specialist barristers. It is managed by Europe’s largest independent Alternative Dispute Resolution provider, CEDR.

Publications taking part include all IPSO’s national newspaper members, including the Daily Mirror, The Sun, The Times, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Daily Star and The Daily Telegraph as well as the Press Association, Condé Nast UK magazines. The scheme is open to all IPSO members to join.

IPSO explains that arbitration does not replace the regulatory complaints handling service operated by IPSO under the Editors’ Code of Practice, which remains free and available to all, with no need to seek legal or specialist advice. It will continue to run as a separate service. To read IPSO’s press release in full, click here.

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