Back Legal Opinion on the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting proposes its revision in line with the European standards

Legal Opinion on the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting proposes its revision in line with the European standards

On 22 February 2023, the Legal Opinion on the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting (as amended on 22 December 2022) was submitted to the Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committee of the Parliament of Georgia. The Opinion was subsequently distributed to all respective stakeholders. Following translation of the Legal Opinion into Georgian language, it is now published in two languages.[1]

On 20 November 2022, the initial Legal Opinion was provided to the Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committee upon its request. It addressed three urgent issues, namely the prohibition of hate speech in advertisements and programmes, incitement to terrorism, and the right of reply and appeal. The initial Legal Opinion also highlighted the non-compliance of other provisions with the European standards, including the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). Prior to the submission of this Legal Opinion, the Parliament had already adopted the amendments to the Law on Broadcasting without considering recommendations of the initial legal opinion but has committed to revise the Law after the adoption of the amendments.

The Legal Opinion relies on various international and national legislative acts as well as the information received in the context of stakeholder meetings held in November 2022 with the representatives of the Parliament, Communications Commission, civil society organisations and the media sector representatives.

According to the Legal Opinion, “there are number of areas of the Broadcasting Law which do not align with EU and Council of Europe standards. Overall, the Broadcasting Law does not align with AVMSD. Furthermore, there are a number of provisions which would be likely in breach of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the ECHR (Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms). As such the provisions in the current Broadcasting Law would need to be changed with the aim of addressing those clauses that are yet not aligned with European standards”.

In order to align the Law on Broadcasting with the respective European standards, including AVMSD, the Legal Opinion proposes 64 major recommendations to be considered. Revision and further improvement is suggested, among others, in the context of the following topics:

  • Provisions related to the media regulatory authority, including guarantees for its independence;
  • Provisions related to video-sharing platforms, including complaints handling system, sanctions and accountability and more;
  • Right of appeal and the effect of the decisions of the regulatory authority;
  • Licensing and authorisation, including provisions related to suspension and reinstatement of the service;
  • Right of reply - correction and rebuttal related aspects;
  • “Hate speech” and incitement to terrorism related provisions;
  • The sanctions for violations of rules for protection of minors;

The Legal Opinion was prepared by the Council of Europe Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law, Information Society Department in the framework of the Project “Strengthening Media Freedom, Internet Governance and Personal Data Protection in Georgia”, which is funded by the Council of Europe 2020-2023 Action Plan for Georgia.


[1] In case of discrepancy between two language versions of the legal opinion, English version prevails.


The Legal Opinion on the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting

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