Media Diary: Phone hacking and libel laws

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Having agreed to be an adjudicator in settling compensation for victims of phone-hacking by the News of the World, former High Court judge Sir Charles Gray has set up a scheme which could transform libel in Britain.

He is chairman of not-for-profit company Early Resolution, which aims to divert libel actions from the courts and deal with them through arbitration.

The idea, pioneered by Alastair Brett, former lawyer for The Times, could allow more people access to justice by reducing legal fees.

It has the support of high-profile media lawyers, including former judge Sir Brian Neill and silks Hugh Tomlinson, David Price and Adrienne Page, who have agreed to act as adjudicators.

Speaking out on free speech

Max Mosley, Ruby Wax and Charlotte Harris, lawyer for victims of phone-hacking, will join Evgeny Lebedev, proprietor of The Independent and i, and Johann Hari, columnist on both papers, to speak at “Hacked Off With Free Speech” at London’s Royal Institution, 5 July.

Sky Arts taps Bragg for ideas

Having pinched The South Bank Show brand when it was offloaded by ITV, Sky Arts is in talks with Lord Bragg to see what else he can do for the innovative channel.

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