Posted on 21st February 2020
As many people will be aware, the tragic death of Caroline Flack in recent weeks has highlighted more than ever the importance of making sure that you treat people with kindness and respect, especially that the UK media does not drag a person’s name and life over the coals.
A petition has now been launched on the website 38degrees.org.uk urging the House of Commons and, in particular, Oliver Dowden, as Secretary of State for Media, to consider making a law which makes it a criminal offence for the British Media to “knowingly and relentlessly bully a person, whether they be in the public eye or not, up to the point that they take their own life”.
The petition is being coined ‘Caroline’s Law’ and the campaign has suggested that these new criminal charges would be similar to corporate manslaughter.
Corporate Manslaughter is a criminal offence created by Section 1 of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, which came into force on 6th April 2008. Under the Act, companies and other organisations can be held correctly accountable for serious failings which result in death.
Sadly, under this act there is a high threshold for liability, so the claimant (usually via their local solicitors or counsel) would need to prove that there had been a gross breach of the relevant duty of care, so if Caroline’s law follows suit, it could be difficult to prove that the British Media had, in fact, solely caused the death of any individual. However, it is a step in the right direction to holding the Media accountable for their actions, some would argue, and it will help to ensure that – hopefully – a line in drawn, and no tabloid over-steps it.
If you think that Caroline’s law should be introduced, you can sign up using the link, here. Follow our blog, here, for more updates in the coming months.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
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