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EU is not ECHR – PCC upholds EC complaint
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Published on 26-06-13

Following a complaint from the London Press Office of the European Commission, The Press Complaints Commission has ruled that The Sun on Sunday newspaper failed to take appropriate care over the accuracy of a story that conflated the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) with the European Union. With reference to the convicted child murderer Ian Huntley, the article’s headlines incorrectly claimed, “Now EU could let fiends like him prey on your children”.

    EU is not ECHR – PCC upholds EC complaint

    “It is an important role of newspapers and magazines to publicise and analyse judicial rulings, but this public interest is served only insofar as such reports inform rather than mislead. While a headline, by its nature, can only ever summarise, it was inaccurate for the sub headline of the article to have attributed to the European Union responsibility for a decision by domestic courts based on the European Convention on Human Rights. The newspaper did not dispute that it had been made aware of similar errors on other occasions. This is a clear failure to take appropriate care over the accuracy of the coverage and a breach of the Editors Code, which was particularly significant at a time when the roles of both the EU and the Convention were a matter of major public debate.

    The newspaper was required under the terms of Clause 1( ii) to correct the inaccuracy promptly and with due prominence, and it had offered to do so in terms that – in the view of the PCC – constituted a sufficient remedy to the initial breach. Nonetheless, the PCC noted that future repetition of the inaccuracy will be a matter of particular concern. It (PCC) welcomed the newspaper’s proposals to alert its staff to the issue and incorporate it into its training program and trusted that these would be implemented at the earliest opportunity.”

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