Terms of Reference

The terms of reference for the Inquiry were set out as follows:

Part 1
  1. To inquire into the culture, practices, and ethics of the press, including:
    1. contacts and the relationships between national newspapers and politicians, and the conduct of each;
    2. contacts and the relationship between the press and the police, and the conduct of each;
    3. the extent to which the current policy and regulatory framework has failed including in relation to data protection; and
    4. the extent to which there was a failure to act on previous warnings about media misconduct.
  2. To make recommendations:
    1. 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, including from Government, while encouraging the highest ethical and professional standards;
    2. 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;
    3. the future conduct of relations between politicians and the press; and
    4. the future conduct of relations between the police and the press.
Part 2
  1. To inquire into the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International, other newspaper organisations and, as appropriate, other organisations within the media, and by those responsible for holding personal data.
  2. To inquire into the way in which any relevant police force investigated allegations or evidence of unlawful conduct by persons within or connected with News International, the review by the Metropolitan Police of their initial investigation, and the conduct of the prosecuting authorities.
  3. To inquire into the extent to which the police received corrupt payments or other inducements, or were otherwise complicit in such misconduct or in suppressing its proper investigation, and how this was allowed to happen.
  4. To inquire into the extent of corporate governance and management failures at News International and other newspaper organisations, and the role, if any, of politicians, public servants and others in relation to any failure to investigate wrongdoing at News International
  5. In the light of these inquiries, to consider the implications for the relationships between newspaper organisations and the police, prosecuting authorities, and relevant regulatory bodies – and to recommend what actions, if any, should be taken.

Notice under Section 31 of the Inquiries Act 2005

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