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IRIS 2005-10:16/29

Ireland

Broadcasting Code on Taste and Decency

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Marie McGonagle

Faculty of Law, National University of Ireland, Galway

The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has launched a public consultation in relation to the drafting of a new code of standards on taste and decency. The BCI is required by the Broadcasting Act 2001, s.19, to compile such a code (see IRIS 2001-4:9). The code, which is due to be finalized for implementation in Autumn 2006, will apply to all broadcasters in the State. The public consultation ended on 28 October 2005. Earlier this year (April 2005) a complaint against RTÉ's showing of a mentally ill man being led from court in manacles was upheld by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission as contravening the provisions on taste and decency contained in the Broadcasting (Authority) Acts 1960-1976. The Commission took the view that the man's vulnerability outweighed the public interest in including such footage.

References
Code on taste and decency, The Irish Times of 8 September 2005, available on subscription at: EN
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=9879
 
Broadcasting (Authority) Acts 1960-1976, s.18 of the 1960 Act as amended EN
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=9880