It would be dangerous for the proposed press council to be granted immunity from being sued for libel, a visiting legal expert said yesterday. Nicole Dietrich, a German lawyer who has studied press councils and media self-regulation around the world, was speaking a day after it was announced a non-statutory press council would be set up next month with 11 newspapers on board. Speaking at a discussion organised by the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre and the Konrad Adenaur Foundation, Ms Dietrich said: 'I haven't come across any council with this quality. To my mind it would be very dangerous to do anything like that because you need a balance between the council and its actions if it is to work in a fair way.' She said the proposed council should not be allowed to criticise without any limits. Ms Dietrich was speaking after Dr John Bacon-shone, a member of the Law Reform Commission's subcommittee on privacy, asked whether she found it strange for a press council to seek immunity from legal action while 'not allowing the state to tell you what to do'. Dr Bacon-Shone said: 'I think this should be considered very carefully because clearly there are risks attached if you take away the ability of people to take legal action against you.' He said he believed the council should still be subject to judicial review. The commission has suggested setting up a government-appointed press council on media intrusion - a move rejected by the media, which said government intervention could undermine press freedom. Secretary of the Law Reform Commission's subcommittee on privacy Godfrey Kan Ka-fai said the commission's final report on media intrusion into privacy would not be ready until next year.