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Parliament Rejects NMC Criminal Libel Law Claims   
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Parliament’s Committee on Subsidiary Legislation has rejected accusations they supported a law which will in effect, bring back the criminal libel law.

The Committee said the recently passed Content Standards Regulation is simply aimed at vetting broadcast content before being aired.

It empowers the National Media Commission (NMC) to grant content authorization to an electronic operator or revoke same if it goes contrary to the Legislative instrument.

Failure to do so will attract a fine not less than five thousand units or a term of imprisonment of not less than two years and in some cases, both.

The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) has since declared its intention to head to the Supreme Court to seek interpretation of the new Legislative Instrument passed by Parliament last year.

They had initially petitioned the NMC as well as the Parliamentary Select Committee on Subsidiary Legislation and Communication and Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to have the regulation scrapped.

A member of the Committee which worked on the Legislative Instrument, Kofi Osei Ameyaw, spoke to Citi News and said the legislation is in Ghana’s interest.

According to Mr Ameyaw, the committee thoroughly vetted the proposal leading to this Legislative Instrument.

He said the committee’s constitutional responsibility is to aid the NMC to protect the nation, since GIBA did not have its own code of conduct that regulated content applicability.

According to him, “Once the document comes before the committee, the committee looks at the document and looks at the regulation that they seek approval from parliament.”

“When we looked at the totality, we came to the conclusion that the document was good enough to check content that filmmakers, storytellers, bring out to the public,” he continued.

“The work that the committee has to do must come from an instrumentality. In this particular case, the instrumentality is the National Media Commission.”

He further justified the need for this control mechanism to check content “especially when the welfare of a child is concerned.”
Source: Citifmonline.com

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