National Audiovisual Communications Law - Legislation
Known as: Ley de medios (Media Law)
The implementation of this law aimed to the regulation of radio, television and other audiovisual communications services.
On 28 December 2014, Law No. 19307 regarding audiovisual communication services was enacted with the objective of establishing the regulation of radio, television and other audiovisual communications services.
On 21 July 2010, i.e. four months after the new Frente Amplio government had taken office, the vice minister of Industry, Energy and Mining, Edgardo Ortuño, and the national director of Telecommunications of the ministry announced their decision to set up a Consultative Technical Committee (CTC) of fifteen representatives from social organisations and the business sector. Its mission was the preparation of a report, which would serve as an input for the drafting of a bill regarding audiovisual communications services on the basis of a document prepared by the National Directorate of Telecommunications and Audiovisual Communications Services (DINATEL), a body belonging to the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining (MIEM). The CTC concluded its report within four months. Its objectives included the registration of agreements and disagreements among its members on each item, which had been previously included in the agenda and agreed upon in the committee on the basis of a list suggested by dinatel in its background paper.
Members of the CTC were invited on a personal basis to ensure their organisational independence; however, an effort was made to consider all sectors related to the Uruguayan audiovisual sphere, such as the Cámara Audiovisual del Uruguay, LICOMM, Asociación de Broadcasters Uruguayos, Grupo Medios y Sociedad, Coalición Comunicación Democrática, DINATEL, APU, Cámara Uruguaya de televisión para abonados, URSEC, Asociación de Radios del Interior, UCU, SUTEL, Instituto de estudios legales y sociales del Uruguay.
The interpretation and application of the new legislation followed as its guiding principles the provisions established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The criteria collected in the sentences and consultative opinions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, as well as the resolutions of, and reports submitted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will be especially taken into account, as long as they do not imply a reduction in the standards of protection established in the Constitution of the Republic, national legislation and national jurisprudence.
Title II (Regulatory Principles), article 5 mentions: “...the Constitution of the Republic, the international instruments for the protection and promotion of the freedom of expression and the diversity of cultural expressions such as the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, as well as the instruments defined by the bodies of the Inter-American Human Rights System, among others...”.
The enactment of the new legislation led to discussions among stakeholders, due to which the possibly unconstitutional character of some of its articles is currently (2016) still under review.
Private Uruguayan and multinational companies had filed constitutional complaints against some articles before the Supreme Court of Justice.
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