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SC Dismisses NMC Standard Content Regulation Law

The Supreme Court has dismissed the National Media Commission’s (NMC) Standard Content Regulation law (2015) which required media organisations to obtain approval before broadcasting their content.

On Tuesday, 30 November, Justice Benin struck out L.I.2224 saying it has no legal grounding in the bye-law and was, therefore, inconsistent with the 1992 Constitution.

Per the new regulation, broadcasters were required to seek authorisation from the NMC before airing content. Flouters of the law could have been imprisoned for two years or fined.

Unhappy with the regulation, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) challenged it at the Supreme Court.

President of GIBA, Akwesi Agyemang, had earlier argued that the clause of the L.I., which sanctions imprisonment as punishment for media houses that fail to abide by the law, contravenes the 1992 Constitution.

He was of the view that the law advocated by the NMC and passed by Parliament, was a subtle means of sneaking back into the country’s statutes, through the back door, the repealed criminal libel law.

Mr Agyemang agreed that there was the need to regulate content and sanitise the media, but disagreed with the issue of imprisonment for flouting the law.

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