Access to Public Information, Content Regulation / Censorship, Licensing / Media Regulation
Esquivel v. Costa Rican Electricity Institute
Closed Expands Expression
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The publisher Río Negro, brought a case against the province of Neuquén for lack of inclusion in the distribution of state advertising, claiming that it was due to the news Río Negro published negatively affecting the government. The Argentine Supreme Court understood that an arbitrary denial of state advertising indirectly violated the rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
The publisher Río Negro brought a case against the province of Neuquén, claiming that the government had purposefully disrupted the company’s grant of state advertising in response to its publication of an article that accused certain public officials of illegal acts. Río Negro stated that this disruption had caused them economic distress, and it was intended to lead to future self-censorship. The province claimed that the new distribution of state advertising, which did not include Río Negro, was based on the financial and broader informational goals of the province.
Por Mayoría (Majority Opinion). The Court found that although there was no subjective right to a portion of state advertising revenue, the government should establish and publish the clear and rightful rules that would guide its distribution. The Court further determined that, because the government of Neuquén was unable to prove that the its denial of state advertising to publisher Río Negro was not arbitrary and lacked the intent of censorship, the interruption of advertising distributions to the company constituted an indirect and subtle form of restriction on the freedoms of expression and information.
Juez Fayt wrote an opinion. Jueces Petracchi and Argibay joined in a dissenting opinion. Juez Maqueda wrote a dissenting opinion.
Decision Direction indicates whether the decision expands or contracts expression based on an analysis of the case.
The Court understood that the freedom of expression was jeopardized through indirect means when all media outlets were not given equal consideration in the distribution of state advertising.
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.
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