The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) is to run the year-long arbitration pilot scheme for the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), the voluntary regulator set up by a host of media organisations in the wake of the Leveson report to replace the Press Complaints Commission.
Publications taking part in the pilot include national newspapers the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Daily Telegraph, The Times, Daily Mail and The Sun, as well as the Press Association and Conde Nast UK magazines.
Under the pilot, both parties agree to binding arbitration overseen by specialist barristers recruited by CEDR to act as arbitrators. They will be able to require remedies and costs. Built into the process is an opportunity for both the claimant and the media organisation to settle the dispute prior to the final decision being delivered.
The kind of claims that could potentially be resolved are those relating to libel, slander, misuse of private information, breach of confidence, malicious falsehood, harassment and data protection.
IPSO will not process an arbitration claim at the same time as it is handling a complaint under the Editors’ Code of Practice which relates to the same subject matter.
The costs are capped at £2,800 for the claimant, though if the case is resolved after a preliminary ruling, it will only cost £300.
IPSO chairman Sir Alan Moses, a former Court of Appeal judge, said: “Arbitration is not just about reducing costs and delays associated with litigation, it is about widening access to justice for members of the public. They need a means whereby they can vindicate their legal rights without going to court.
“At the core of IPSO’s work is our support for claimants who feel wronged by the press and this pilot is part of this provision. We look forward to working with CEDR in delivering this important service.”
CEDR chief executive Dr Karl Mackie added: “We have worked hard with IPSO on the scheme to help streamline administration and manage the cost of dispute resolution to parties. This new scheme demonstrates the important role there is for alternative dispute resolution.”