[UA] New Law Establishing the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council

IRIS 1997-8:1/20

Andrei Richter

Center for Media, Data and Society, School of Public Policy, Central European University (Budapest)

On 13 June 1997 the Supreme Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine adopted a law "On the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council". The new law develops the ideas originally set out in the Law "On Television and Radio Broadcasting" of 21 December 1993 as complemented and amended on 2 June 1995. Although the President of Ukraine vetoed the Law on 25 July 1997, it seems likely that the Rada will overturn the veto.

The Council will be a special supervising body implementing legislative provisions on television and radio broadcasting and monitoring compliance of both State and non-State broadcasters with the rules. The National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council is to guarantee the freedom of speech and the right of citizens to information; to protect the rights of the audience, users, workers and distributors of audio-visual information; to ensure that the frequency resources are used in a rational manner; and, to participate in the development and implementation of the State's policy in the sphere of television and radio broadcasting.

The National Council will consist of eighth persons with four of them nominated by the Chairman of the Rada and approved by the Ukrainian Parliament, and four appointed by the Ukrainian President after consultation with the government. The Council members' term of office will be four years, and they will not be allowed to serve for more than two terms. The Chairman of the Council will be selected by means of written correspondence between the President and the Chairman of the Rada . The National Council will list all television and radio broadcasters operating in Ukraine in the so-called State Register and will grant them licenses for the use of a broadcasting frequency in accordance with the law. The procedures for frequency allocation are also laid down in the new Law. In case of violations of the provision of the law and/or the licence conditions by a broadcaster, the Council will have the right to impose penalties. These will include warnings and fines of up to 25 percent of the fee paid by the broadcaster to obtain a licence. Upon request of the Council, a court will have the right to withdraw the licence from a broadcaster. All decisions of the Council can be appealed in courts.


This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.