IT was highly appropriate that a medieval-sounding body, the Privy Council, was used last week to usher in the beginning of the end of press freedom in Britain. The royal charter it granted was described by the Daily Mirror as its “death warrant”. And indeed Leveson makes some sensible suggestions such as an arbitration system that would circumvent the costly courts in a search for just outcomes for complaints against the press. However, he rejected proposals for a tougher system of self-regulation. Instead, the royal charter paves the way for certification of a regulator. Those publications that opt out of the system face the possibility of exemplary, punitive damages.