As a result of court proceedings that lasted more than a year, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression (CPFE) eventually succeeded in getting information on the staff professional backgrounds of a number of TV companies that won in the competitions held by the National Commission on Television and Radio (NCTR). This could really be seen as overcoming the artificially created obstacle.
However, this is part of what is still to be achieved…
The RA Administrative Court partially satisfied the CPFE’s claim against the NCTR in its August 3 decision. According to it, the NCTR’s refusal to provide the TV companies staff members’ curricula vitae (CVs) was ruled to be unlawful, and the NCTR was obligated to submit these CVs to the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression. However, the claim was rejected with regard to recognizing unlawful the non-submission of contracts on providing retranslation signed with the third parties and obligating the submission of those by the respondent. On September 3, the CPFE filed an appeal in the RA Administrative Court of Appeal related to this part of the decision. The hearing of this appeal is scheduled for November 22.
As for the NCTR, it did not lodge an appeal against the decision of the Administrative Court. Actually, it was only through the court proceeding that the commission admitted that CVs cannot be considered to be confidential documents.
Let us remind that on February 21, 2011 the CPFE sent an official query to the NCTR asking to provide the copies of the proposals and the attached documents reviewed under RFPs NN 6, 12-14 and 16-25 on the licensing of TV broadcasters for providing network broadcasting in the territory of the RA. In its response the NCTR had informed that the documents containing confidential information were not subject to disclosure through copying. According to the NCTR, the retranslation contracts and the company staff members’ curricula vitae attached to the proposal packages were representing such documents. In order to exercise its right for obtaining complete data, on April 11 of the same year the CPFE had applied to the RA Administrative Court with a claim against the NCTR. On September 27, 2011 the CPFE’s claim was rejected. The CPFE lodged an appeal against this decision of the Administrative Court to the court of higher instance.
On February 2, 2012 the RA Administrative Court of Appeal satisfied the CPFE’s appeal; the RA Administrative Court’s decision was recalled and the case was sent to the same court for a new trial. While making this decision, the RA Administrative Court of Appeal concluded „that the decision of the first instance court shall not be viewed as grounded and justified, since it evaluated the facts of essential significance for the settlement of this case and reaffirmed such evaluations in the absence of the relevant facts.“ In other words, the decision was made without full investigation and obtaining of the necessary proofs and justifications. It can be definitely stated that the NCTR representative did not submit the documents requested by the CPFE to the court to examine, either. It is likely that the court itself did not require such documents, merely limiting itself to the respondent’s ungrounded statements about the submission of CVs to be in violation of the individuals’ private and family life confidentiality.
The RA Administrative Court held the retrial of this case on July 19. The decision, as it was mentioned above, was publicized on August 3.