Jack Straw is keynote speaker at Press Gazette law conference

Press Gazette is holding a unique one-day conference to discuss Jack Straw’s historic move to open family courts to the press and to provide a comprehensive update on all media law issues.

Justice Secretary Straw has confirmed he will be the keynote speaker at the event which will be held in central London on 11 February.

Other speakers will include: director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information Maurice Frankel and leading media lawyers such as Caroline Kean from Wiggin, Heather Rogers QC from Matrix, barrister Christina Michalos from 5RB and Tony Jaffa from Foot Anstey.

Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford said: ‘The catalogue of failings at Haringey Council in the run up to the death of Baby P highlighted the dreadful consequences which can follow when those who have the power of life and death over vulnerable children are not subjected to proper scrutiny.

‘So Justice Secretary Jack Straw’s announcement this week that family courts will no longer be a complete no-go area for journalists – but subject to the same sort of restrictions as youth courts – is great news for all of society, not just the media.

‘There was further good news yesterday when junior justice minister Bridget Prentice revealed that the government may curb excessive libel fees charged to newspapers by claimant lawyers and enshrine the Reynolds libel defence of qualified privilege in law.

‘It seems the Government is on the brink of taking a major step forward in terms of press freedom – and attending Press Gazette’s law conference will be the best way to ensure those who work in the field of media law are not left behind.

‘It will also provide a comprehensive briefing for journalists and media lawyers on all aspects of media law.”

The price of attending the conference is £395 for lawyers and £295 for journalists but just £147.50 for Press Gazette subscribers.

To reserve a place call 0207 549 8671 or email acrane@wilmington.co.uk

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