Licensing / Media Regulation
The Case of Patrick Chitongo
Closed Mixed Outcome
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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.
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 indicates whether the decision expands or contracts expression based on an analysis of the case.
The decision is consistent with the Supreme Court’s earlier decisions in Editorial Rio Negro S.A. and Editorial Perfil.
Global Perspective demonstrates how the court’s decision was influenced by standards from one or many regions.
Case significance refers to how influential the case is and how its significance changes over time.
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.
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