High Court decision 'provides clarity' says Chris Chapman | radioinfo

High Court decision 'provides clarity' says Chris Chapman

Wednesday 04 March, 2015

ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman has welcomed the High Court decision to empower the ACMA to make decisions in cases regarding criminal law.

2Day FM and industry body CRA have objected to the finding.

The judgment confirms that the ACMA was empowered to make a finding that Today FM breached a licence condition by recording and subsequently broadcasting nurse prank call to King Edward VII’s Hospital London in December 2012.

Mr Chapman has told radioinfo: "It provides clarity regarding the operation of the licence condition that prohibits broadcasters from using their broadcasting service in the commission of an offence."

The High Court’s judgment noted that: ‘It is the Authority’s function to monitor and regulate broadcasting services throughout Australia. There is no incongruity in empowering the Authority to take administrative enforcement action against a licensee who uses the broadcasting service in the commission of an offence, whether the offence is against Commonwealth, State or Territory law.’

The ACMA will now move to publish its investigation report and consider sanctions on 2DayFM, which could potentially take the station off air if the ultimate senction is applied.

Taking a station off air is seen as the most drastic solution, but a range of other enforcement options are also available to the ACMA for a breach of a licence condition, they may include imposing additional licence conditions, issuing remedial directions, accepting enforceable undertakings or the cancellation or suspension of a broadcasting licence.

SCA has condemned the court ruling and has promised to try and have the law changed.

CRA believes the decision has ramifications for the entire broadcast industry.

Click the judgement image below to see the full decision from the High Court.

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