The Prime Minister today announced in parliament that there are to be two inquiries both overseen by Lord Justice Leveson. Evidence is to be given under oath and witnesses can be compelled to attend and crucially they can compel production of documents. The Judiciary website has available a number of speeches made by Leveson LJ over the last few years.
The draft detailed terms of reference are set out below.
TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR JUDGE-LED INQUIRY
1 To inquire into the culture, practices, and ethics of the press, including:
a. contacts between national newspapers and politicians;
b. the relationship between the press and the police;
c. the extent to which the current policy and regulatory framework has failed, and
d. the extent to which there was a failure to act on previous warnings about media misconduct.
2 To make recommendations:
a. for a new more effective policy and regulatory regime which supports the integrity and freedom of the press, the plurality of the media and its independence from Government, while encouraging the highest ethical and professional standards; and
b. for how future concerns about press behaviour, media policy, regulation and cross-media ownership should be dealt with by all the relevant authorities, including Parliament, Government, the prosecuting authorities and the police.
c. the future conduct of relations between politicians and the press
3 to inquire into the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International and other newspaper organisations;
4 to inquire into the way in which the police investigated allegations of unlawful conduct by persons within or connected with News International, and the review by the Metropolitan Police of their initial investigation;
5 to inquire into the extent to which the police received corrupt payments or were otherwise complicit in such misconduct or in suppressing its proper investigation and how this was allowed to happen;
6 to inquire into the extent of corporate governance and management failures at News International and other newspaper organisations;
7 in the light of these Inquiries, to consider the implications for the relationships between newspaper organisations and the police, and relevant regulatory bodies and to recommend what actions, if any, should be taken.
The first part of the Inquiry (1) and (2) will be conducted by a Judge assisted by a panel of experts. It will report within 12 months. The second part of the Inquiry to be considered in light of the ongoing criminal proceedings. It will report jointly to the Culture Secretary and the Home Secretary.