An open, linkable, HTML version of Lord Justice Leveson’s report into the culture, practices and ethics of the press
Every year, our democracy produces billions of words. Parliament publishes Bills, Acts of Parliament, Hansard transcripts of debates and evidence sessions, and Select Committee reports. The Government and its agencies generate policy papers, consultation documents, guidelines, rules and regulations. The judiciary hands down judgements and makes case law. Journalists parse all this information into news and analysis, and civil society groups write their own recommendations for change.
A modern and vibrant democracy must give everyone access to this text. The great parliamentary reformer John Wilkes fought legal battles with the Government to ensure that the deliberations of Parliament were published and available to be scrutinised by those less privileged. Today, this same principle of openness means that accessing all influential documents should be quick and easy. We should also be able work with the text - 'copying and pasting' paragraphs into our own documents. We should be able to perform meta-analyses on the documents produced by others, asking whether the words they use shape the policy they make.
The Inquiry into the Culture, Practice and Ethics of the Press, conducted by Lord Justice Leveson in 2012, was a crucial moment in our politics. It examined the collusion of politicians, the police and the press to corrupt our culture and short-circuit our democracy. Its recommendations have huge impact on the idea of a free press. The report of the inquiry, published in November 2012, should be as accessible as possible, so that everyone can properly discuss its findings and recommendations.
The four volume report is only officially available in two formats. One may order a printed copy from The Stationery Office at a cost of £250. Or, you can download a free PDF from the official-documents.gov.uk website. This is an incomplete offering. The report has so many parts, chapters, sub-chapters and paragraphs that navigating the text is extremely hard. You cannot embed a link to a particular page or line in a PDF document (unless you are the author of that document) so those debating the report are reduced to citing its findings only by page number, as we did in the pre-internet era. Additionally, the PDF format does not lend itself to copy-and-paste or meta-analysis.
The Leveson Report (As It Should Be) seeks to fix this issue. It presents the entire text of the Leveson Report in HMTL format. Those who wish to cite particular paragraphs in the report can link to a web page here, rather than to a cumbersome PDF document. The hope is that this will aid discussion of the report and its recommendations, and give more people a say in how our politics is conducted.
This project was initiated by Robert Sharp, inspired by the work of a long line of people, from John Wilkes to MySociety. The HTML files are available for free download via GitHub, so you can read the Leveson Report offline, or even host a version on your own website.
These pages were created through a long series of REGEX Search-and-Replace operations. This process has a human element to it and there may be small formatting errors in the text, which I will gladly fix as soon as they are drawn to my attention. If you spot any kind of error then add it as an 'issue' on GitHub. I will warmly welcome any offers of collaboration, especially with the task of ensuring the files are as correct and complete as they can be.
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This site is structured using 'friendly' URL path names, so users can easily locate the part, chapter, section or paragraph they are looking for.
http://www.leveson.robertsharp.co.uk/Awould take you to the main contents page for Part A.
http://www.leveson.robertsharp.co.uk/B/chapter2would take you to chapter 2 in Part B.
http://www.leveson.robertsharp.co.uk/C/chapter3#section4would take you to section 4 in chapter 3 in Part C.
http://www.leveson.robertsharp.co.uk/D/chapter2/#para6-1would take you to paragraph 6.1 in chapter 2 in Part D.
There are a few other 'anchors' on the pages, too. For example, formulations like
#figK2-1 all work, so long as such an element actually exists in the relevant chapter you are linking to.
The numbered paragraphs are all links. You can get a link for any paragraph simply by right-clicking the number and choosing 'Copy Link Location'. All footnote references are linked to their corresponding footnotes, and vice versa.
If, for some reason, you wish to view the entire Leveson Report on a single web page, you can do so here.
The report of the Leveson Inquiry was published under an Open Government Licence. The pages on this site are published under the same licence.