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Georgia/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.7 Mass media

The Law on Press and Other Mass Media was passed on 10 August 1991 which declared freedom for the mass media. By this Law, the constitutional principles were reinforced through the concrete relationship of the press and other mass media with the public.

The Law of Georgia on Broadcasting was passed on 23 December 2004, which was drafted with the expert support of the EU. The law defines the rule of broadcasting, rules and functions of an independent regulatory body in the field of broadcasting, terms of regulation of activity in this field, licensing rules and procedures in accordance with the principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression and free entrepreneurship. 2. The purpose of this Law is to formulate public broadcasting independent from state interference; to regulate the broadcasting activities in accordance with the principles of transparency, fairness and impartiality through an independent regulatory authority; to ensure the effective use of freedom of speech and opinion, stimulating competitive environment among broadcasters, equality and independence of license holders, effective use of frequencies.

This Law determines the obligations of public broadcasting to protect the public interest in the sphere of news, public and political, educational, cultural and sport programmes. Public broadcasters are also obliged by the Law to create some programmes that reflect the ethnic, cultural, language, religious, age and gender diversity of the population.

Provisions on protection of data are also available within the applicable Law on Copyright and Related Rights (22/06/1999/2112-IIs ) (see chapter 5.1.7), and Law on Limiting Measures in Connection with Intellectual Property (23/06/1999/N2159-IIs ).

By Law of Georgia on Freedom of Speech and Expression, (24/06/2004 / # 220) the state recognizes and protects freedom of speech and expression as the invincible and supreme human values. During implementation of the authority, the people and the state are restricted by these rights and freedoms as directly applicable law.

The Georgian National Communication Commission (GNCC) operates under the Law on on Electronic Communications) (2005) (amendment -20.11.2013 # 1591)Broadcasting (2004), Independent National Regulatory Authorities (2002), and on Independent Regulatory Commission (2005).

Law on Independent National Regulatory Authorities -13.09. 2002 /N1666-Is. The purpose of this law is to create the stable legal basis and perfect institutional environment for the sustainable operation of the national regulatory authorities in order to provide, in the various spheres of the economy, the balancing of interests of license holders and consumers, effective pricing and providing services and goods. The law establishes: protection of independent regulatory authorities operating in Georgia from any political pressure, inappropriate influences and illegitimate interference of state authorities or other officials as well as from any other actions which may infringe their independence; the authority of implementation of the perfect regulation of the specific sphere; responsibility for ensuring the transparency and reliability of decision-making procedures.

Law on Electronic Communications, 02.06.2005/1514-Iს/  The law establishes the legal and economic basics of activity with electronic communication networks and facilities on the territory of Georgia, the principles of formation and regulation of the competitive environment in this sphere, the functions of the independent national regulatory authority (Georgian National Communication Commission), the rights and duties of natural persons and legal entities during ownership of electronic communication networks and facilities, their operation and service provision.

In compliance with the Law on on Electronic Communications, the GNCC allocates licenses to companies engaged in telecommunications.

When the Laws on on Electronic Communications and on Broadcasting came into effect, the legal status of broadcasting companies radically changed.

Under the Law on Broadcasting three types of companies were recognised – public, community and private. The State Broadcasting Company was reorganised into a public television company and its status, content obligations, programme priorities and other issues were to be regulated by the Law on Broadcasting (see chapter 2).

The GNCC performs the function of monitoring the execution of the Law on Protection of Minors from Detrimental Effect. The State Department for Youth Affairs is entitled to determine the criteria of the films released and the GNCC monitors the protection of minors' rights. The Commission also monitors compliance with the Law on Protection of Copyright and Related Rights in the broadcasting sector.

Chapter published: 07-02-2019

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