How does the scheme work?

All IPSO's national newspaper publishers are members of the compulsory scheme. That means that if you want to make a claim they must agree to arbitration. Some other publishers participate in the voluntary scheme, which means you can request to arbitrate but the publisher is not obliged to do so.

1. Inquiry


  • Fill out an inquiry form briefly setting out the details of your claim

2. Claim form



  • IPSO assess your claim to make sure it is in remit, meaning suitable for the arbitration scheme
  • If it is, IPSO will send you a claim form to set out your claim in more detail

3. Referral stage





  • After IPSO receives the completed claim form and supporting evidence, we refer the claim to the publication
  • The publication has 14 days to respond your claim
  • There is an opportunity for you (the claimant) and the publication to try to resolve your claim during this stage, which we call the "referral stage"
  • This stage lasts up to 28 days

4.  Transfer of claim to CEDR



  • If not resolved during the referral stage, IPSO will transfer your claim to the arbitration company, CEDR
  • You will sign an arbitration agreement and pay £50 to CEDR

5. Arbitrator appointed


  • CEDR will appoint an arbitrator from the panel

6. Preliminary ruling





  • The arbitrator examines your claim to make sure it is suitable for the scheme
  • If the arbitrator does not strike out your claim, they  give you an initial ruling on the core issues of the case
  • This initial ruling, whilst binding, will not lead to any award of damages or require parties to reimburse costs or fees. However, it can be use to help parties resolve the claim

7. Interim period



  • There is a pause in proceedings (21 days) in which both you and the publication decide how to proceed based on the preliminary ruling 

8. Final ruling





  • If your claim is not resolved, you can decide to proceed to a final ruling
  • You pay another £50 to CEDR for their final ruling
  • The final ruling is a binding ruling which can require a range of remedies
  • The final ruling will normally be published on the IPSO website 

9. Fees and costs



  • If your claim is successful, the arbitrator will require that your fee (£100) is returned to you by the publication
  • They may also award you legal costs if appropriate


Your claim may be struck out at any point during the above process, but usually at the earliest possible stage. You will be given notice of this and a chance to respond. Your claim may be struck out if the arbitrator determines:

  • your claim is wholly without merit
  • your claim is trivial, frivolous or vexatious
  • your behaviour has frustrated the arbitration process

Following a strikeout, the arbitrator will require you to reimburse the publisher's fees and may require you to reimburse their legal costs (up to the cost cap).