Ruling

Complaint 02101-14 Khan v Daily Mail

    • Date complaint received

      22nd December 2014

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Complaint 02101-14 Khan v Daily Mail

Summary of complaint

1. Shoaib M Khan complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Daily Mail had published an article, headlined “We must seize power from Euro judges”, on 3 October 2014, which raised a breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. 

2. The complainant expressed concern that the newspaper had given the significantly misleading impression that judges in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) were not all legally qualified, and that the ECHR tells UK courts what to do. He also objected to the implication that he understood from the coverage that some absolute rights – such as the right not to be tortured – have to be balanced with the interests of society. 

3. The newspaper said this was a piece written by the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, and it represented his views. It had addressed two of the complainant’s points by publishing a correction in print and online, but it declined to correct the statement that the ECHR “tells our courts what to do”, on the basis that this was clearly Mr Grayling’s opinion, and he had been entitled to express it. It had therefore dealt with this point by publishing a letter from the complainant in the newspaper; it declined to publish the letter online. 

Relevant Code Provisions

4. Clause 1 (Accuracy) 

i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures. 

ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and - where appropriate - an apology published. In cases involving the Regulator, prominence should be agreed with the Regulator in advance. 

Mediated outcome

5. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore instigated an investigation into the matter.  

6. The newspaper offered to publish the complainant’s letter in the Corrections and clarifications column on its website for 24 hours, after which it would remain searchable in the archive. It also agreed to add a link to the letter at the bottom of the online article. 

7. The complainant said the publication of his letter online would resolve the matter to his satisfaction. 

8. As the complaint was successfully mediated, the Complaints Committee did not make a determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code. 

Date complaint received: 28/11/2014 

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 22/12/2014