Tag: Broadcasting

In Canada, Greens leader Elizabeth May Files Court Challenge To Be Included In Leaders’ Debate

As in 2008, the decision has been made to exclude Green Party leader Elizabeth May has from participating in the televised (and widely watched) English and French leaders’ debates, to be held on April 12th and 14th. The decision was made by a consortium of television broadcasters based on regulations established by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (“CRTC”). One of the key features of the CRTC rules is that broadcasters do not have to include the leaders of all political parties in election-related debates.

In 2008, after an enormous public outcry and the threat of legal action, the broadcasters backed down and allowed May to participate in the debates, thus setting the precedent for the inclusion of the Green Party Leader and for a leader of a party with no seats in the House of Commons. This time, though, the threat of legal action wasn’t enough and after it seemed Ms. May would not be allowed to participate, the Green Party filed an application for judicial review in the Federal Court of Appeal on March 31, 2011.

In Canada, just as in Ireland, broadcasters’ duties of fairness are often tested by smaller parties’ claims to participation in election events, such as leaders’ debates. This intriguing post discusses the legal basis of that duty in Canada, and considers May’s case. And there is another post on Slaw about it.

The same issues arose during the recent Irish election, and I discussed them here and here.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has published its first Strategy Statement


The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (“BAI”) has … published its first Strategy Statement which sets out the organisation’s mission and values as well as its vision for the broadcasting sector for the period 2011-2013.

The Statement captures the focus of the work of the BAI in seven over-arching strategic themes. Eight strategic (high level) goals have been developed, covering the three year period of this strategy. Each goal contains specific objectives enabling the BAI to execute its mission and to contribute to the achievement of its vision.  On a yearly basis, the BAI will identify specific deliverables under each strategic goal, which will shape its annual work-plan. …

The Authority has also published a Statement of Outcomes document which provides a general overview of the changes made to the draft Strategy Statement on foot of submissions received during the public consultation phase. The BAI’s workplan associated with the Strategy Statement is also scheduled for publication in the coming days. …

To download a copy of the Strategy Statement in English please click HERE
To download a copy of the Strategy Statement in Irish please click HERE
To download of copy of the Statement of Outcomes document please click HERE

via bai.ie

RTÉ defends stance on covering candidates – The Irish Times

PAUL CULLEN, Political Staff

LEGAL CHALLENGE: RTÉ HAS defended its election coverage in the face of criticism of its treatment of Independent candidates by a Dublin city councillor.

Cieran Perry, who is standing as an Independent in Dublin Central, says he is planning a legal challenge to the State broadcaster’s policy on election coverage.

Mr Perry has accused RTÉ of breaching the principle of fairness established in court judgments on election coverage because it treats some candidates as “also-rans”.

I’ve set out the legal principles in posts on Cearta here and here.

TV3 wants end to broadcast media blackout prior to election · TheJournal.ie

TV3 wants end to broadcast media blackout prior to election

Image: Gruenemann via Flickr


TV3 IS “DEMANDING” an end to the moratorium which forbids broadcast media from reporting most political coverage just prior to a general election. …

Currently, a 48-hour moratorium is applied to such reporting on the day prior to polling and on the day the country goes to the polls. … In a statement today, TV3 says … that “there is no legal requirement for the moratorium under Irish law” and that there is no provision in the Broadcast Act of 2009 for such a moratorium. TV3 also questions the legality of the moratorium in relation to the free speech guarantees set out in the Irish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. …

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland confirmed to TheJournal.ie that they have received the submission for TV3 and are giving it their “full consideration”. A spokesperson for the BAI said that the body is currently working on the final draft code for broadcasting during and in the run-up to the election. (This is the Draft Election Code, which can be viewed in full here) …

The moratorium flows from the BAI’s interpretation of s39 of the Broadcasting Act, 2009, rather than from the Act itself (following similar interpretations of earlier legislation by the BAI’s predecessor bodies). This particular practice has yet been challenged in the court, but since it is a restriction upon political speech, any case taken by TV3 should in principle have a good chance of success, though a strong interpretation of Murphy v IRTC [1999] 1 IR 12 (SC) may stymie them.

In any event, I would be grateful if anyone can point me towards the TV3 submission to the BAI, or even to the full text of TV3’s statement.