5RB in media regulation debate

Further regulation opposed by narrow majority in Collyer-Bristow Annual Debate

The second annual Collyer-Bristow Debate, held in association with 5RB, took place last night in the Great Hall, Gray’s Inn in front of 150 invited guests from the press and publishing worlds, the legal profession and academia.


In a lively debate chaired by retired Court of Appeal Judge, Sir Brian Neill and moderated by Joanna Kennedy of Collyer-Bristow, a distinguished panel of speakers debated the motion, ‘This house believes that regulation of the media has not gone far enough’.


Sir Christopher Meyer, Head of the Press Complaints Commission, speaking for the motion, advocated extended self-regulation through the Commission, which he likened to Frankenstein’s monster – which had broken free of its creator; and Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Brian Paddick spoke of his own experiences at the hands of a certain tabloid newspaper.


Speaking on behalf of the press, joint Head of 5RB Desmond Browne QC reminded the audience (with supporting quotations from Mary Shelley’s eponymous book) that Frankenstein’s monster had not just broken free from but had actually destroyed its creator; and Tom Crone, Head of Legal, News International, did not shrink from arguing that press restriction had gone too far already.


The motion was defeated by a narrow majority of 6 votes.


For more information click on the icon below for a copy of the Collyer-Bristow debate brochure.