Global Freedom of Expression

Arte Radiotelevisivo Argentino S.A. v. Estado Nacional

Closed Mixed Outcome

Key Details

  • Mode of Expression
    Audio / Visual Broadcasting
  • Date of Decision
    February 11, 2014
  • Outcome
    Administrative Measures/ Administrative Sanctions to protect FoE
  • Case Number
    Fallos: A. 925. XLIX
  • Region & Country
    Argentina, Latin-America and Caribbean
  • Judicial Body
    Supreme (court of final appeal)
  • Type of Law
    Administrative Law, Constitutional Law
  • Themes
    Content Regulation / Censorship, Licensing / Media Regulation
  • Tags
    Media Diversity, Media Pluralism, Discrimination, Advertising

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Case Analysis

Case Summary and Outcome

Argentina violated ARTEAR S.A.’s right to freedom of the press when it arbitrarily denied the network the opportunity to participate in its distribution of state advertising.


In 2014, the Supreme Court of Argentina decided the case of ARTEAR S.A, a television network. ARTEAR S.A.  claimed that the government had purposely denied it a share of the state advertisement, thus indirectly affecting its right to freedom of expression.

Decision Overview

The Supreme Court of Argentina affirmed the appellate tribunal’s finding that the state had violated ARTEAR S.A.’s right to freedom of the press and, referencing its earlier decisions in Editorial Rio Negro S.A. and Editorial Perfil, stated that there is a right against the arbitrary designation and the indirect violation of the freedom of the press through economic means. The Court recognized that the decision of whether or not to distribute advertisement belongs to the state, but affirmed that in making this decision, there are two constitutional standards the state must follow.

First, the state cannot manipulate advertisement by giving it and taking it away on a discriminatory basis, and second, the state cannot utilize advertisement as an indirect form of censorship. The Supreme Court’s judgment went even further to highlight the fact that the two above-mentioned precedents had clearly imposed a duty upon the state, which had blatantly been disregarded.

Decision Direction

Quick Info

Decision Direction indicates whether the decision expands or contracts expression based on an analysis of the case.

Mixed Outcome

The decision is consistent  with the Supreme Court’s earlier decisions in Editorial Rio Negro S.A. and Editorial Perfil.

Global Perspective

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Global Perspective demonstrates how the court’s decision was influenced by standards from one or many regions.

Table of Authorities

Related International and/or regional laws

  • ICCPR, art. 19
  • ICCPR, art. 26
  • ACHR, art. 13

National standards, law or jurisprudence

Case Significance

Quick Info

Case significance refers to how influential the case is and how its significance changes over time.

The decision establishes a binding or persuasive precedent within its jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court of Argentina decides cases on an individual basis, and its case law does not create binding precedents. However, the Court is the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution, and, as such, its decisions are highly persuasive.

Official Case Documents

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