Section 18: The Law



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 the 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 may consult Programme Legal Advice and, if necessary, Director Editorial Policy and Standards. 

Any decision to proceed with a programme despite legal advice must be referred to the most senior editorial level in the relevant division and Director Editorial Policy and Standards.

Mandatory Referrals