the fundamental law on freedom of expression

Podstawy prawne działania radia, telewizji i innych technicznych nośników przekazu w Szwecji

Author: Ryszarda Stasiak
Institution: Szkoła Wyższa Psychologii Społecznej
Year of publication: 2014
Source: Show
Pages: 201-216
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/tpn2014.1.13
PDF: tpn/6/TPN2014113.pdf

The subject of this article is the legal basis of the activity of radio, television and other technical media devices in Sweden. The basis of this activity is freedom of expression guaranteed in the act on the instrument of government (Regeringsformen – RF). There are specific constitutional regulations for some forms of expression. Freedom of the press is regulated in the ordinance on freedom of the press (Tryckfrihetsförordningen – TF) and it includes freedom of expression in writing. The fundamental law on freedom of expression (Yttrandefrihetsgrundlagen – YGL) is applicable to other forms of expression like radio, television and other technical devices: film, video, sound records, CD and DVD. The fundamental law on freedom of expression (YGL) is the youngest of the Swedish constitutions and it is modelled on the ordinance on freedom of the press. The basic principles and their construction are the same in both acts. It applies among others to economic freedom in terms of broadcasting programs, prohibition on censorship, the right to provide information and protection of the source of information, catalogue of crimes, one-person liability, separate procedural provisions with the court with a jury. The author points out the leading principles of the fundamental law on freedom of expression: to ensure free exchange of views, free and comprehensive obtaining of information and free artistic output. Every Swedish citizen is entitled to publicly express their thoughts, views, feelings and other information in any field by means of the radio, television or other similar media devices. As a rule the law is applicable if broadcasting of a program takes place from Sweden. The fundamental law on freedom of expression guarantees for every Swedish citizen the right to provide information in any field with a view to it being made public on the radio or in other recordings as well as the right to obtain information with a view to it being passed or made public. A radio program author is entitled to remain anonymous and is not obliged to disclose their identity. In order to ensure the possibility of establishing the person responsible for violation of the fundamental law on freedom of expression it imposes the obligation to indicate the responsible editor (ansvarig utgivare) and made their identity available to the public. This liability comes on a one person basis; in the first place it applies to the editor, next to the person obliged to indicate the editor and finally to the person disseminating the program. The fundamental law on freedom of expression makes numerous references to other acts of law. For example, in terms of principles on placing advertisements and commercial announcements the applicable law is the act on radio and television, in particular regarding product placement and program sponsoring as well as the act on alcohol and the act on tobacco products. The article also describes regulations of the principles concerning granting licenses by the government (granting frequency) or the Office for radio and television. Independent control over the broadcast programs is exercised by the Office for control (and in terms of advertisements also by the Consumer Advocate). Foreign stations are not embraced by the act on radio and television and for this reason they are not subject to the supervision exercised by the Office for control.

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