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16 October 2014
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Editorial Guidelines in Full

The Law


BBC content producers should seek the advice of BBC lawyers whenever legal problems are encountered or suspected.

There are significant differences between the legal systems of:

  • England and Wales
  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland

which if not observed can cause serious problems.

There may be occasions where providing accurate, impartial and fair coverage in the public interest involves possible conflict with the law. Where such cases arise we must consider:

  • what effect breaking the law might have on the BBC.
  • what the effect might be on people concerned.
  • internationally, the effect on the BBC's future coverage of the region.

Any proposal to break the law must be referred to a senior editorial figure or for Independents to the commissioning editor, who must consult Head of Programme Legal Advice and, if necessary, Controller Editorial Policy.

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Section Sixteen of the Editorial Guidelines - pdf

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