Date set for hacking hearings - VIDEO

Press conference with Lord Justice Leveson, who is heading up the phone hacking inquiry

The first public hearings in the phone hacking inquiry will be held in September, Lord Justice Leveson announced today.

He revealed the focus of the initial wave of the investigation would be on the relationship between the press and public, as well as press regulation.

Lord Justice Leveson said: “At some stage, there needs to be a discussion of what amounts to the public good, to what extent the public interest should be taken into account and by whom. ”I hope that an appropriate cross section of the entire profession, including those from the broadcast media, will be involved in the discussion.

”He added: “It may be tempting for a number of people to close ranks and suggest that the problem is or was local to a group of journalists then operating at the News of the World, but I would encourage all to take a wider view of the public good and help me grapple with the width and depth of the problem.

”Lord Justice Leveson said: “The focus of the inquiry is ‘the culture, practices and ethics of the press’ in the context of the latter’s relationship with the public, the police and politicians. ”All of these matters overlap, and my goal must be to consider what lessons, if any, may be learned from past events and what recommendations, if any, should be made for the future, in particular as regards press regulation, governance and other systems of oversight.

”He added: “Formal evidence obtained by exercising statutory power should not be the only way of obtaining evidence.

”I am fully aware that many journalists, papers and magazines have devoted many years of attention to the criminal, unethical and utterly inappropriate behaviour of small sections of the press and I recognise that the present inquiry is in no small part the result of such journalism.

He also said that he would not compromise the inquiry just to deliver within the year time frame set out by Prime Minister David Cameron.

VIDEO: Click the play button to see clips of the press conference.

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