The obligation to obtain a license for broadcasting with a cable network abolished on the basis of the Public Defender’s complaint11 04 2012
On April 11, 2012, the First Panel of the Constitutional Court of Georgia announced its decision in connection with the December 2, 2008 complaint of the Public Defender which dealt with a demand to find Subparagraph S of Article 2, Paragraphs 3, 4, and 5 of Article 38, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting unconstitutional in relation to Paragraphs 1 and 4 of Article 24 of the Constitution of Georgia.
The Constitutional Court partially sustained the Public Defender’s constitutional complaint and found the obligation to obtain a license for broadcasting with a cable network unconstitutional in relation to Article 24 of the Constitution of Georgia.
At the same time, the obligation to obtain a license for broadcasting with a satellite system remained in force.
When deciding the constitutional dispute, the Court noted that the authority to carry out different forms of regulation, including the authority to give a license for an activity, may be connected with the fulfillment of the main function of the state. However, in fulfilling this authority, the state is bound by constitutional rights and freedoms. Intervention in rights and freedoms is only justified in extraordinary cases when intervention is unavoidable for the achievement of certain legitimate goals determined by the Constitution and is a proportionate and less restrictive means for the achievement of the goal.
The Constitutional Court fully shared our argument that it is also possible to achieve the legitimate goals named by the Parliament by means that are less restrictive for constitutional rights, such as the introduction of an obligation to submit certain information to the Regulatory Commission after starting the broadcasting activity.
The decision of the Constitutional Court took effect upon being announced.