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Part of the letter from the Chief Executive of the SNP dated 4 February 2010 to the BBC stated:- "My primary position is that any attempt to broadcast such a debate in Scotland without the participation in the debate of the SNP will not satisfy the requirements of 'due accuracy and impartiality' under the terms of the 2006 Charter and...

Geoblocking

Another of the terms that had to be discussed by the BBC's counsel, Gerry Moynihan, with Lady Smith today was the term 'geoblocking'. It was explained in the context of the way that the broadcaster might be able to stop transmission of the debate to parts of the country, namely Scotland. This was one of the ways that the SNP had...

Mobile Phones….

THE EVER-PRESENT MOBILE PHONE The clerk of court was quite clear:-"Please make sure all mobile phones are switched off." (if any of these phones had rung then it is possible that the owner could have been charged with the offence of contempt of court.....) So why did the BBC representatives (and one has to assume that they were fairly senior personnel)...

Due Impartiality

Due impartiality.....This is one of the key phrases which was at the root of the action by the SNP. So, what does it mean? The BBC was set up by Royal Charter and the most recent of these was the 2006 Charter which sets out the structure for the BBC Executive and The BBC Trust which replaced the old Governor...

Houston v BBC

The case of Houston v BBC from 1995 was mentioned several times. Counsel for the SNP Mungo Bovey stated that the earlier case was not very different from the case before the court. But, in that case, an interim interdict was granted to restrain the BBC from broadcasting in Scotland an extended interview with the Prime Minister three days before the...

SNP v BBC Timeline

IN THE INTERESTS OF JUSTICE...being seen to be done, The Reporter attended Court 8 at The Court of Session along with all the other people, either involved or simply observing, who were in the courtroom from about 10 o'clock on 28 April 2010 The timeline was something like this... 10.02 there was a huddle of lawyers on the right hand side...

Adjournment

SNP ACTION ADJOURNED The latest news from The Court of Session is that the action has been adjourned for the evening until 10am Wednesday 28 April 2010 when the legal debate will continue.

SNP v BBC?

The SNP, and particularly it seems, their leader Alex Salmond MSP, are so incensed by the bias towards the three main parties in the General Election campaign that they intend raising the matter in an action in the Court of Session in Edinburgh this week, according to various reports in the newspapers on Monday 26 April. They will apparently request...

BBC Trust decision

The BBC Trust decision dismissing the appeal by SNP and Plaid Cymru against the refusal by the BBC to allow them to take part in the Leaders' Debates, is laid out in full on the web and you may access that decision here. The SNP and Plaid Cymru had appealed the decision of the BBC not to include them...
The SNP reached its target of raising £50,000 by Monday afternoon in order to fund the court action regarding the BBC election leaders' debate scheduled for this Thursday evening. The party has lodged the necessary papers instigating the action at the Court of Session and the legal arguments have been heard by Lady Smith over the course of Tuesday afternoon. Welcoming...
Former BBC correspondent and Independent MP Martin Bell said on Monday that he supported the SNP's proposed court action to ensure the final election leaders' debate hosted by the BBC in Birmingham this Thursday is fair and balanced. Mr Bell, who worked for the Corporation for 35 years and was Independent MP for Tatton from 1997 to 2001, said the...

OFCOM code

THE OFCOM BROADCASTING CODE and THE BBC During election campaigns, broadcasters have to be particularly careful of observing rules as to impartiality. Whilst they must, in general, always comply with the provisions of the Ofcom code there is a special set of rules for the BBC. At times of elections and referenda it is the BBC Trust which regulates on...
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