Media law – Media authority rulings appealable, says spokes

Budapest, February 2 (MTI) – The rulings of Hungary’s media authority will be appealable and its right to request data when investigating complaints will be limited, the spokesperson for the national media and telecom authority (NMHH) said on Wednesday.

Responding to criticism that the media authority’s powers were too broad, Karola Kiricsi said all decisions of the authority could be overruled or annulled in a court procedure. She added that data provision, one of the requirements criticised by the opponents of Hungary’s new media laws, was important in ensuring that the authority made decisions of substance.

    The media law states that during an investigation of a complaint filed with the NMHH, the authority has the right to request the provision of data and to search documents and devices containing data considered important for the investigation, even if it is classified as a business secret under law, Kiricsi said. However, such procedures would only be undertaken in pertinent cases, she added.

    Hungary’s media laws have triggered harsh criticism including the European Commission’s recent request for its clarification over concerns that some of its rules were “over extensive”. The law’s defenders on the other hand have seen global media reaction to the Hungarian law as “disproportionate”.