Press release

Phone hacking inquiry: draft terms of reference

The Prime Minister has set out the draft terms of reference for the judge-led inquiry into the phone hacking.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Part 1

  1. To inquire into the culture, practices, and ethics of the press, including:

  2. contacts between national newspapers and politicians;
  3. the relationship between the press and the police;
  4. the extent to which the current policy and  regulatory framework has failed; and
  5. the extent to which there was a failure to act on previous warnings about media misconduct.

  6. To make recommendations:

  7. for a new more effective policy and regulatory regime which supports the integrity and freedom of the press, the  plurality of the media and its independence from Government, while encouraging the highest ethical and professional standards; and
  8. for how future concerns about press behaviour, media policy, regulation and cross-media ownership should be dealt with by all the relevant authorities, including Parliament, Government, the prosecuting authorities and the police; and
  9. the future conduct of relations between  politicians and the press.

Part 2

3. To inquire into the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International and other newspaper organisations.

4. To inquire into the way in which the police investigated allegations of unlawful conduct by persons within or connected with News International, and the review by the Metropolitan Police of their initial investigation.

5. To inquire into the extent to which the police received corrupt payments or were otherwise complicit in such misconduct or in suppressing its proper investigation and how this was allowed to happen.

6. To inquire into the extent of corporate governance and management failures at News International and other newspaper organisations.

7. In the light of these Inquiries, to consider the implications for the relationships between newspaper organisations and the police, and relevant regulatory bodies and to recommend what actions, if any, should be taken.


The first part of the Inquiry (1) and (2) will be conducted by a Judge assisted by a panel of experts. It will report within 12 months. The second part of the Inquiry to be considered in light of the ongoing criminal proceedings. It will report jointly to the Culture Secretary and the Home Secretary.

Published 13 July 2011