Rusbridger: UK legal system punishes decent journalists

Guardian editor calls Press Complaints Commission "feeble".

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger condemned the "feeble" Press Complaints Commission last night and struck a dischordant note amid the chorus of press criticism over injunctions being used to safeguard the privacy of celebrities.

Delivering the Anthony Sampson lecture at City University, he noted that many injunctions are taken out to protect victims of blackmail and also pointed out that the privacy provisions of the Editors' Code of Practice - which all nearly all UK newspaper owners have signed up to - is almost identical to that in the Human Rights Act.

Rusbridger also made the case for more legal protection for investigative journalism at a time when the Draft Defamation Bill is going through parliament. And he noted that the only way The Guardian could safely publish its Wikileaks revelations was by partnering with the New York Times and benefiting from the USA's more liberal legal climate when it comes to press freedom.

Read more at the Press Gazette.