Appeals Procedure

Procedures for Consideration of Appeals

1.    An appeal must be made in writing and be submitted to the Chair of the Press Council to arrive not later than ten working days after          the date of the Press Ombudsman’s or Press Council sub-committee’s decision on the complaint.  Exceptionally, and on a case by              case basis, requests for an extension to this timeframe will be considered by the Chair.

2.  The appeal must be made under at least one of the following three grounds, and the ground(s) must be identified in the appeal. 

     (i) That there has been an error in procedure.

     (ii) That significant new information is available that could not have been or was not made available before the decision was made                   by the Press Ombudsman or the Press Council sub-committee.

     (iii) That there has been an error in the application of the Code of Practice by the Press Ombudsman or the Press Council

3.  Details of the reasons to support the appeal in respect of each ground must be provided, and any supporting documentation will be         considered as part of the appeal.

4.  Mere disagreement with the Press Ombudsman’s or the Press Council sub-committee’s decision is not a ground for appeal.  Nor does       it constitute an acceptable rationale for an appeal on any of the three stated grounds. 

5.  A copy of the appeal shall be sent to the other party to the complaint, for information purposes, within five working days of its receipt       by the Chair.  If the appeal is submitted on the grounds that significant new information is available, the other party will be invited to           submit any observations they wish to make on the claimed significant new information within ten working days of the date on which         the appeal is sent to him/her, and such observations will be forwarded, for information purposes, to the appellant.

6.  The appeal shall be considered by the Press Council as soon as is reasonably possible.  The proposed agenda and duration of a                Press Council meeting shall be reasonable factors to be taken into account in determining the precise Press Council meeting at                which the appeal shall be considered.

7.  The appeal, together with the complaint file, shall be sent to the Press Council for the purposes of its consideration of the appeal.

8.  In considering the appeal, the Press Council shall proceed as follows:

      8.1  The Chair shall establish if a conflict of interest or loyalty arises for any member(s) participating in the hearing of the appeal. If a                   conflict of interest arises, the member(s) shall not participate in the hearing of the appeal and shall leave the meeting for the                       duration of the hearing.

     8.2  Based on a review of the appeal, the Press Council shall then satisfy itself that the appeal is admissible under one or more of the               three grounds specified for the making of an appeal.

      8.3  If the Press Council determines that the appeal is not admissible, it shall record its determination in the minutes of the meeting,                 summarising the reason for its conclusion on admissibility of the appeal. The consideration of the appeal shall not proceed                         further and the parties to the complaint shall be advised accordingly of the determination on admissibility and the grounds for                     the  determination, within a reasonable time after the meeting.

      8.4  If the Press Council determines that the appeal is admissible, the ground(s) on which the appeal is deemed admissible shall be                    recorded. The appeal shall be considered only on the ground(s) under which it has been deemed to be admissible.

      8.5  Based on a review of the appeal and the complaints file, the Press Council shall decide whether or not to uphold the appeal                       against the Press Ombudsman’s decision.

      8.6  The Press Council’s decision shall be formally recorded, including a record of the basis on which the appeal was decided.

      8.7  A written record of the Press Council’s decision, to include points 8.1 to 8.6 inclusive, shall be maintained by the Press Council.

9.  Both parties to the complaint shall be advised in writing of the Press Council’s decision on the appeal, and the decision shall be                 published on the Press Council’s website here.