Media Council Act 2015

Link to law: http://www.palemene.ws/new/wp-content/uploads/01.Acts/Acts%202015/Media-Council-Act-2015-Eng.pdf

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rangement of Provisions

PART 1
PRELIMINARY

1. Short title and commencement
2. Interpretation
3. Act binds Government
4. Purpose
5. Act in addition to other laws

PART 2
MEDIA COUNCIL

6. Media Council
7. Term of office and remuneration
8. Disclosure of interest
9. Requirements for determinations
and documents of the Council
10. Committees

PART 3
ADMINISTRATION
AND FINANCE

11. Staff of the Council
12. Funding of the Association

PART 4
CODE OF PRACTICE

13. Code of Practice
14. Application of the Act and the
Code of Practice
15. Directives

PART 5
COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

Division 1 - Making
of Complaints

16. Definition
17. Who may make a complaint
18. Complaints may be first
considered by the member of the
media
19. Referral to Council
20. Form of complaint

Division 2 - Complaints Procedure

21. Consideration of complaints by
the Council
22. Notification and processing of
complaints
23. Conciliation
24. Dismissal of complaints
25. Determination of complaint
without hearing
26. Hearing of complaints

Division 3 - Decisions
and Orders

27. Decisions of the Council
28. Orders of the Council






2 Media Council 2015, No. 25
29. No right of appeal without
affecting judicial review

PART 6
JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION
OF SAMOA

Division 1 - Association

30. Establishment
31. Functions and powers
32. Membership
33. Entitlements of members
34. Accreditation
35. Annual general meetings
Division 2 - Executive Committee

36. Establishment
37. Functions and powers

PART 7
MISCELLANEOUS

38. Interim Council
39. Protection from personal liability
40. Regulations
41. Consequential amendment
42. Transition and saving


__________

2015, No. 25

AN ACT to establish the Media Council and the Journalists
Association of Samoa (JAWS), to provide for the development,
application and enforcement of a code of practice relating to
the news media, and to promote and enhance professional
journalism, and for related purposes. [09th
July 2015]

BE IT ENACTED by the Legislative Assembly of Samoa in
Parliament assembled as follows:

PART 1
PRELIMINARY

1. Short title and commencement-(1) This Act may be cited as
the Media Council Act 2015.
(2) This Act commences on the date of assent by the Head of State.

2. Interpretation - In this Act, unless the context otherwise
requires:
“Association” means the Journalist Association of Samoa (JAWS)
established under section 30;
“Chairperson” means the person appointed as such under section
6(1)(a);
“Code of Practice” means the Code of Practice approved under
section 13;
“Council” means the Media Council established under section 6;






2015, No. 25 Media Council 3

“Executive Committee” means the Executive Committee of the
Association established under section 36;
“investigation committee” means an investigation committee
appointed under section 21(2);
“lawyer” means a person admitted to the Supreme Court as a
barrister and solicitor under the Law Practitioners Act 1976;
“member of the media” means a person engaged in the practice of
collecting, writing, editing and presenting news or news
articles in magazines, newspapers, radio or television
broadcasts, over the internet or any other manner;
“person” includes any media related organisation, company or
agency;
“publication” means the dissemination to the public of any written,
digital, audio or video material, and includes any material
disseminated through the internet.

3. Act binds Government - This Act binds the Government.

4. Purpose-(1) The purpose of this Act is to promote professional
journalism and integrity in the news media, while observing the
fundamental rights under Part II of the Constitution.
(2) This Act must be applied, implemented and enforced in a
manner which fully respects and acknowledges Samoan tradition,
culture and community values.

5. Act in addition to other laws-(1) This Act is in addition to and
not in derogation of:
(a) any requirement or code of practice applying under the
Broadcasting Act 2010; or
(b) any requirement for registration, the identification of
publishers and printers, and any other regulatory
requirement applying under the Newspapers and
Printers Act 1992/1993.
(2) Any law which relates to the publication and broadcast of news
must be read, construed and applied pursuant to this Act and the Code
of Practice.
(3) This Act prevails if there is any inconsistency between this Act
and any other enactment.
(4) Nothing in this Act affects the Film Control Act 1978 or the
powers of the Film Control Board under that Act.







4 Media Council 2015, No. 25

PART 2
MEDIA COUNCIL

6. Media Council-(1) The Media Council is established consisting
of the following members who are to be appointed by the Executive
Committee:
(a) a lawyer who has at least five (5) years experience as a
lawyer or as a judge and has no direct interest in the
Association, as Chairperson;
(b) five (5) media representatives;
(c) five (5) community representatives.
(2) The representatives under subsection (1)(b) and (c) are to be
appointed as follows:
(a) for media representatives, from a list of 20 members of the
media, nominated by the Association; and
(b) for community representatives, from a list of 20 members
of the community, nominated by the Association.
(3) The appointment of members must:
(a) provide a fair representation based upon gender,
employment, educational background and community
interests; and
(b) ensure that no gender has less than three (3) members of the
total membership of the Council.
(4) The Deputy Chairperson is to be appointed from amongst the
members in subsection (1)(b) or (c).
(5) A member of the Executive Committee must not be appointed
to the Council.
(6) A person who makes a nomination under this section must sign
a supporting character reference for the intended nominee.
(7) The Executive Committee:
(a) has authority to determine and apply any necessary
processes and requirements to enable nominations and
appointments to be made in accordance with this
section; and
(b) when acting under this section, must act independently, free
of any political pressure, and without regard to any
political interest.

7. Term of office and remuneration - A member of the Council:
(a) holds office for three (3) years; and
(b) is eligible for re-appointment; and
(c) is entitled to remuneration and allowances as are fixed by
the Executive Committee; and






2015, No. 25 Media Council 5

(d) on expiry of the term of appointment, continues in office
until re-appointed or a successor is appointed.

8. Disclosure of interest-(1) A member who, otherwise than in his
or her capacity as a member, is directly or indirectly interested in any
matter under consideration by the Council, must as soon as possible
after the relevant facts have come to his or her notice, disclose the
nature of the interest to the Council.
(2) A disclosure under this section must be recorded in the minutes
of the meeting of the Council, and the member must not take part after
the disclosure in any deliberation or decisions relating to that matter,
but is to be counted as present for the purpose of forming a quorum of
the Council for any such deliberation or decision.
(3) The Executive Committee may terminate the appointment of a
member of the Council if a member:
(a) acts contrary to the provisions of this Act; or
(b) uses information obtained through the Council for personal
gain (or the gain of any other person); or
(c) acts in a manner that brings the Association or the Council
into disrepute.
(4) A person terminated under subsection (3) is not eligible for re-
appointment as a member of the Council.
(5) During any meeting of the Council, and whenever they are
acting on behalf of the Council on its business, members:
(a) are expected to act in the Council’s interest and in the
interest of professional journalism; and
(b) must avoid acting as a delegate of any business interest, and
avoid and resist receiving or accepting directions from
any business interest in respect of duties to be
performed under this Act.

9. Requirements for determinations and documents of the
Council - All determinations of the Council, and any other document
requiring due execution on behalf of the Council, must be:
(a) in writing; and
(b) signed by any person or persons acting under a general or
specific direction of the Council.

10. Committees-(1) The Executive Committee may:
(a) appoint any advisory, regulatory and technical committees
as it determines, to discharge the Council’s functions;
and
(b) determine the functions of the committees; and






6 Media Council 2015, No. 25

(c) delegate to the committees any powers of the Council, as
are necessary for the committees to perform their
functions.
(2) Members of committees appointed under subsection (1):
(a) must include a lawyer with demonstrated skills and
experience in dispute resolution; and
(b) may include members, officers of the Council and any other
persons as the Council considers appropriate for the
committees to perform their functions.
(3) Members of committees appointed under subsection (1) are
entitled to fees, allowances and reimbursement of expenses as
determined by the Executive.
(4) A committee may determine its own procedures, subject to this
Act and any directions by the Executive.

PART 3
ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE

11. Staff of the Council-(1) The Association must ensure that the
Council is adequately resourced in the period prior to and after the
establishment of the Council.
(2) When it is able to do so, the Council may:
(a) employ staff as it considers necessary, on terms and
conditions that the Council determines; and
(b) arrange for the secondment of any person to the Council in
accordance with the law.

12. Funding of the Association-(1) The funds of the Association
consist of the following:
(a) monies appropriated by the Government;
(b) revenues from fees, charges and penalties levied and
imposed under this Act;
(c) any donation to the Association;
(d) other revenues generated, collected or obtained by the
Association.
(2) The Association may:
(a) approve annual membership fees for members of the
Association; and
(b) impose fees and charges for any service, seminar, test or
other requirement or activity imposed or undertaken as
part of the functions of the Association.







2015, No. 25 Media Council 7

(3) No conditions may be placed on the monies appropriated under
subsection (1)(a), other than the requirements placed by the Chief
Executive Officer of the Ministry of Finance relating to its
expenditure, accounting and reporting.
(4) Any audit report in relation to the funds of the Association, in
respect of any donation under subsection (1)(c) must show the amount
and the source of donation.

12A. Association account-(1) The Association:
(a) must establish and maintain an account called the
“Journalism Association of Samoa Account (or a name
similar to that name)” at a bank licensed under the
Financial Institutions Act 1996; (b) must ensure that all monies lawfully received by any person
for and on behalf of the Association are deposited into
the Account;
(c) may, if it considers appropriate, establish and maintain
other special accounts (in the Association’s name) for
specific purposes, including for the purposes of
properly managing and investigating its funds.
(2) The Executive Committee may determine the application of
funds of the Association, including the giving of financial support for:
(a) media awards;
(b) training programmes or workshops for association
members; or
(c) any other matter approved by the Executive Committee or
Association.
(3) Funds from the Account must only be withdrawn by way of
cheque or other negotiable instrument signed by an officer and
countersigned by another officer of the Association authorized for
such purposes.
(4) The Association must keep proper records and books of
accounts of the Account.
(5) The Account is to be audited annually by an independent
external auditor appointed by the Executive who shall provide a report
for the audit.
(6) The Secretary must send a copy of the audit report to all
members of the Association.
(7) In this section “Account” means the Association’s account
established under subsection (1)(a) and includes any special account
specified under subsection (1)(c).







8 Media Council 2015, No. 25

PART 4
CODE OF PRACTICE

13. Code of Practice-(1) The Association:
(a) may develop, approve, apply and enforce the Code of
Practice; and
(b) may amend the Code of Practice; and
(c) must review the approved Code at least every two (2) years.
(2) The Code of Practice may deal with the following:
(a) the broadcasting, publication or reporting of any news or
current affairs, or any commentary in relation to those
matters;
(b) the broadcasting or publication of any advertisement;
(c) any other matter relevant to broadcasting, publishing,
reporting or presenting items through the media.

14. Application of the Act and the Code of Practice - The Act
and the Code of Practice apply to all members of the media.

15. Directives-(1) The Association may issue any directive to
supplement or clarify any aspect of the Code of Practice.
(2) All directives issued under this section:
(a) are taken to form part of the Code of Practice; and
(b) apply as provided for in section 14; and
(c) are enforceable pursuant to Part 5.

PART 5
COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

Division 1 - Making of Complaints

16. Definition - In this Part:
“complaint” means an objection or grievance in relation to an
alleged breach of the Code of Practice;
“complainant” means a person who makes a complaint;
“investigation committee” means a committee appointed under
section 21(2) to investigate complaints;
“investigation report” means a report prepared by the Council or
the investigation committee on its investigation under this Part;
“respondent” means a person subject to the Code of Practice under
section 14 to whom the complaint is directed by a complainant.







2015, No. 25 Media Council 9

17. Who may make a complaint-(1) A complaint may be made
by:
(a) any person referred to in the broadcast, report or publication
which is alleged to have breached the Code of Practice;
or
(b) any other person directly affected by the alleged breach; or
(c) subject to subsection (2), any other person.
(2) A third party may make a complaint about a matter which does
not directly relate to that person, or is of any personal interest relevant
to that person, if:
(a) consent is obtained in any case where the Council requires
the consent of any person directly affected by the
alleged breach of the Code of Practice before
investigating the complaint; or
(b) the Council considers it necessary and appropriate in the
circumstances.
(3) The Council or the Executive Committee may on its own
initiative initiate a complaint which may include:
(a) when a member of the media is charged with an offence
involving dishonesty; or
(b) when a court makes any adverse finding on the conduct of a
member of the media.

18. Complaints may be first considered by the member of the
media-(1) A complaint may be referred to the member of the media
for consideration before it can be referred to Council.
(2) A complainant must, within 10 working days of publication,
reporting or broadcasting of the material, send the complaint for an
alleged breach of the Code of Practice to the member of the media to
consider and address the breach.
(3) If after 10 days, the complainant has not received any response
from the member of the media, the complainant must re-send the
complaint within 20 working days from the expiry of the 10 working
days under subsection (1), including a copy of the complaint sent
under subsection (1).

19. Referral to Council - A complainant may refer a complaint to
the Council if:
(a) a complaint was directed to the respondent at first instance
and the complaint was not addressed satisfactorily by
the respondent within five (5) working days of the
complaint being made; or







10 Media Council 2015, No. 25

(b) the complainant proves to the satisfaction of the Council
that submitting a complaint to the respondent would be
unlikely to have any effect, or would cause undue
hardship for the complainant.

20. Form of complaint-(1) A complaint referred to the Council
must comply with the following requirements:
(a) be written in English or Samoan;
(b) contain particulars of -
(i) the full name, address and other contacts of
the complainant;
(ii) the identity of the respondent;
(iii) the alleged conduct complained of;
(c) be made within 20 working days of the offending material
first being published, reported or broadcast;
(d) contain a declaration that the complainant -
(i) is seeking to resolve the matter through the
Council rather than pursuing legal proceedings; and
(ii) will not use any information gathered during
the investigation of the complaint by, or on behalf
of the Council in any future legal proceedings.
(2) The Council may extend the time in subsection (1)(c) if the
complainant establishes that the complainant was not aware of the
publication or broadcast at the time it was made, which prevented the
making of the complaint within time in subsection (1)(c).
(3) The Council must assist in filing a complaint if a complainant
is unable to comply with the requirements under subsection (1) as a
result of the complainant’s inability to submit a written complaint in
Samoan or English.

Division 2 - Complaints Procedure

21. Consideration of complaints by the Council-(1) When the
Council receives a complaint, the Council:
(a) must assess the complaint;
(b) may hear and determine the complaint to ascertain whether
the Code of Practice has been breached;
(c) may refer the complaint to an investigation committee
appointed under subsection (2) before it determines the
complaint; and
(d) must determine a complaint under section 25 within 20
working days from receiving it.







2015, No. 25 Media Council 11

(2) The Council may appoint an investigation committee consisting
of one (1) or two (2) members from the list of nominees for media
representatives and members of the community, if necessary:
(a) to investigate a complaint received under subsection (1); or
(b) to carry out any other inquiries necessary for the purpose of
this Part.
(3) A member of the Executive Committee or the Council must not
be appointed as a member of an investigation committee.
(4) An investigation committee must provide a report to the
Council on its findings before a determination is made under section
25.
(5) The following procedures apply at a meeting of the Council
when determining complaints:
(a) the Chairperson or (if the Chairperson is absent) a member
elected by the members present presides;
(b) six (6) members constitute a quorum;
(c) the Chairperson has a deliberative vote and casting vote;
(d) a question is to be determined by a majority of votes.
(6) If the Chairperson is absent, the Council may invite a lawyer,
whether or not a member of the Council or Association, with similar
qualification as the Chairperson to advise the Council on any legal
issues but does not have the voting rights of a Council member.
(7) If a member of the Council has a conflict of interest in the
complaint to be dealt with by the Council, the Council must appoint a
temporary replacement for that Council member from the list of
nominees for media representatives or members of the community, as
applicable for that complaint.
(8) If the number of Council members who have a conflict of
interest in the complaint to be dealt with by the Council result in a lack
of quorum, the Executive Committee must appoint temporary
replacements of those Council members sufficient to establish quorum
from the list of nominees for media representatives and members of
the community to handle that complaint.

22. Notification and processing of complaints-(1) The Council
must:
(a) give an explanation to the complainant as soon as
practicable after a complaint is referred to the Council,
of the procedures by which the complaint will be
investigated, considered and determined; and
(b) advise the respondent as soon as practicable after a
complaint has been received; and







12 Media Council 2015, No. 25

(c) give the complainant a copy of the advice to the respondent;
and
(d) provide the respondent’s response to the complainant as
soon as practicable after it is submitted to the Council.
(2) The respondent must provide a written response to the
complaint within five (5) working days.
(3) The Chairperson may extend the time in subsection (2) if it is
in the interest of justice.

23. Conciliation-(1) The Council must encourage and assist in
conciliation between the complainant and respondent unless the
Chairperson considers that attempts at conciliation would be
unproductive or counterproductive, or otherwise inappropriate for any
reason.
(2) The Chairperson may determine any process to be applied to
the conciliation of any complaint.

24. Dismissal of complaints - The Council may dismiss a
complaint if any of the following apply:
(a) the Council considers the complaint to be frivolous or
vexatious, misconceived, lacking in substance or the
complaint has not been made in good faith;
(b) the complaint falls outside the Council’s authority relevant
to the standard of professional journalism;
(c) on the face of the complaint, it does not disclose any breach
of the Code of Practice;
(d) it has been made outside the required time limit, and there
are no special grounds for extending the time for
making the complaint;
(e) the complainant fails to comply with section 20;
(f) the complaint is withdrawn or settled by the complainant;
(g) the Council is satisfied that its investigation report does not
provide any evidence to support a breach of the Code of
Practice.

25. Determination of complaint without hearing-(1) The
Council may, if it considers necessary, determine a complaint without
a formal hearing based on:
(a) the complaint made and any additional information
provided by the complainant in support of it;
(b) the response given by the respondent;







2015, No. 25 Media Council 13

(c) any information gathered in the initial investigation of the
matter undertaken on behalf of the Council, including
reports prepared by an investigation committee; and
(d) any further information provided to the Council.
(2) The Council must give the complainant and respondent a
further opportunity to respond to any matter or information provided to
the Council under subsection (1).

26. Hearing of complaints-(1) The Council may hear a complaint
if a party makes an application to the Council to be heard in relation to
making or defending the complaint.
(2) The complainant and the respondent are required to attend a
hearing by the Council with or without legal representation.
(3) Hearings of the Council are open to the public, unless, in the
opinion of the Council, the public hearing would prejudice the
interests of justice.
(4) The Council may in writing require the respondent:
(a) to give, in writing or personally, within a stated reasonable
time a full explanation of the matter being investigated;
or
(b) to appear at a stated reasonable time and place; or
(c) to produce within a stated reasonable time any document in
the respondent’s custody, possession or control relevant
to the complaint; or
(d) to respond to the complaint, and provide any answers to
questions asked by the Council by any means, and any
information or documents required by the Council.

Division 3 - Decisions and Orders

27. Decisions of the Council - The Council must:
(a) prepare a written decision as soon as practicable after the
Council has made a determination or when a hearing
has concluded; and
(b) provide the decision to the complainant and respondent;
and
(c) make the decision available to the public.

28. Orders of the Council-(1) If a respondent to a complaint is
found to have breached the Code of Practice, the Council may order
the respondent to do any or all of the following:
(a) to publish or broadcast with due prominence a reply,
correction or apology;






14 Media Council 2015, No. 25

(b) to undertake training or education in a particular area of
relevance to the breach which has been found to have
been committed;
(c) to subject the respondent’s practice to periodic inspection
by a specified person for a specified period;
(d) to do or carry out any other action or pay any prescribed
penalty not exceeding 50 penalty units.
(2) If a respondent fails or refuses to comply with an order under
subsection (1) within the time specified in the decision, the respondent
is taken to have breached the Code of Practice and is removed as a
member of the media or the Association by operation of this
subsection until the order is complied with.
(3) If no time has been specified for the respondent to comply with
any penalty imposed under subsection (1), the respondent must comply
with it within 20 working days of the penalty being imposed.
(4) The Council may apply to the Court for an order of the Court to
compel the respondent to comply with an order made under subsection
(1).

29. No right of appeal without affecting judicial review-(1)
There is no right of appeal from a decision of the Council.
(2) Subsection (1) does not affect the inherent power of judicial
review of the Supreme Court.

PART 6
JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION OF SAMOA

Division 1 - Association

30. Establishment-(1) The Journalists Association of Samoa is
established as a body corporate with perpetual succession and a
common seal, and may:
(a) enter into contracts; and
(b) sue and be sued; and
(c) acquire, hold and dispose of property; and
(d) carry out any other act that a body corporate may do.
(2) All members of the Association are bound by and subject to its
rules and procedures.

31. Functions and powers-(1) The functions of the Association
are:
(a) to promote professional journalism, and public awareness
about the media, by all available means, including -






2015, No. 25 Media Council 15

(i) organising and advertising seminars for
reporters and editors at regular intervals, on topics
relating to media and journalistic skills, practices or
ethics;
(ii) disseminating information about journalistic
training and workshops offered in Samoa and
overseas;
(iii) arranging notification of potential learning
opportunities to journalism students, such as,
exposure to a complaints hearings and encouraging
attendance;
(iv) requiring members of media to attend a
minimum number of accredited or approved
training courses each year, based on a points system
established by the Executive Committee;
(v) organising training, seminars and other
initiatives for journalists found to have breached the
Code of Practice;
(vi) encouraging and supporting in-house
training of journalists and establishing internal
mechanisms for effective self-regulation, including
monitoring and mentoring arrangements;
(vii) raising public awareness about the role of
the media and the standards to which it must adhere,
and developing a marketing and outreach plan for
that purpose;
(viii) publication of advertisements approved by
the Executive Committee about the role of the
Association;
(ix) publishing any applicable codes, guidelines
and decisions of the Council, and information about
complaints procedures on an official Council
website, and by other appropriate means;
(x) collecting data to assess how the Council is
functioning, and to show trends in making and
resolving complaints;
(xi) producing an Annual Report, and quarterly
reports, which may include information, such as,
guidelines for journalists and complainants
regarding the complaints process and information
about courses and training available to reporters;
(b) to approve, organise and present annual media awards;







16 Media Council 2015, No. 25

(c) to take any other action which promotes professional
journalism;
(d) to foster and develop regional and international linkages,
including -
(i) to ensure that cooperative relations are
developed and maintained with media related
groups and networks around the Pacific region, and
to collaborate in regional forums and programmes
for media professionals and organisations; and
(ii) to establish and foster mentoring
relationships with overseas counterpart agencies
and related organisations to share information and
expertise, and for any other purpose relating to the
functions of the Association; and
(iii) to represent Samoa on regional and
international media related forums, agencies,
associations, organisations and programmes;
(e) to promote cooperation among local journalists and others
working in the media, information and public relations
sectors;
(f) to develop and maintain freedom of information and
expression;
(g) to carry out any other functions and powers under this Act
or any other enactment.
(2) The Association has all the powers necessary to carry out its
functions.

32. Membership-(1) The following persons are eligible to be
members of the Association:
(a) journalists and editors who work permanently in Samoa;
(b) media organisations, companies and agencies incorporated
or based in Samoa.
(2) A journalist or editor who is employed by a member agency,
company or organisation becomes a member of the Association by
virtue of the membership of the agency, company or organisation.
(3) Nothing in subsection (2) prevents a journalist or an editor
from becoming an individual member of the Association.
(4) The Association may make rules for membership, including
admission of other persons as members, associate members or
affiliates of the Association.
(5) In this section, “associate members” means a category of
members of the Association who do not have voting rights.
(6) Members of the media include members of the Association.






2015, No. 25 Media Council 17

33. Entitlements of members-(1) Only members of the
Association are entitled:
(a) to nominate members of the Council under section 6(1)(b);
or
(b) to receive media awards which are reserved by the
Association for members of the Association.
(2) Nothing in this section prevents the Executive Committee from
acknowledging a contribution to professional journalism in Samoa by
a non-member person.

34. Accreditation-(1) The Association may approve other classes
of accreditation to the Association which are open to individuals,
organisations, companies and agencies that do not otherwise qualify
for members, such as overseas individuals or regional and international
persons and bodies that have a genuine interest in the affairs of the
Association and the promotion of professional journalism in Samoa.
(2) The Executive Committee may determine the entitlements of
individuals, organisations, companies or agencies accredited to the
Association under subsection (1).

35. Annual general meetings-(1) The following rules apply at an
annual general meeting of the Association:
(a) an annual general meeting of the Association must be held -
(i) once a year on a date as the Association or
the Executive Committee decides;
(ii) whenever required to do so in writing by at
least six (6) members of the Association;
(b) forty percent of members form a quorum (but the Executive
Committee may determine and apply the provisions for
resolutions of the Executive Committee to be obtained
by circular resolution or any other appropriate means);
(c) a meeting is to be chaired (“presiding member”) -
(i) by the President; or
(ii) by the Vice President (if the President is
absent); or
(iii) by a member of the Executive Committee
elected by the Executive Committee to preside at
that meeting (if both the President and the Vice
President are absent);
(d) any questions arising at a meeting are to be decided by the
votes of the majority of members who are present;
(e) the presiding member has a deliberative vote, and a casting
vote.






18 Media Council 2015, No. 25

(2) If there is no quorum at an annual general meeting, a further
meeting must be called and that further meeting may proceed with the
members present even if there is no quorum as required under
subsection (1)(b).
(3) The Association may determine its own procedures, subject to
this Act.

Division 2 - Executive Committee

36. Establishment-(1) The Executive Committee of the
Association is established consisting of the following members:
(a) President;
(b) Vice-President;
(c) Secretary;
(d) Assistant Secretary; and
(e) Treasurer.
(2) The members of the Executive Committee are elected at an
annual general meeting of the Association from among members of the
Association.
(3) A member of the Executive:
(a) holds office until the next annual general meeting following
the one at which the officer is elected to office (unless
that member sooner vacates office), and is eligible for
re-appointment; and
(b) continues in office until a successor comes into office,
unless the member sooner vacates office;
(c) may resign from the office in writing to the Secretary;
(d) may be removed from office by the Association by
resolution at a general meeting on the grounds of -
(i) neglect of duty;
(ii) mental disability or impairment;
(e) must immediately vacate the office if the member is
charged with a serious offence; and
(f) must not be a part of a process or a decision of the
Executive Committee if the member has a conflict of
interest.

37. Functions and powers-(1) The Executive Committee has the
following functions:
(a) to act as the executive body of the Association and to carry
out the functions, duties and powers of the Association
under this Act, without affecting any functions, duties
and powers of the Council;






2015, No. 25 Media Council 19

(b) to be responsible for the administration, control and
management of the affairs of the Association, and of its
funds and other assets, under this Act;
(c) to implement the provisions of this Act;
(d) to perform other functions conferred on it by this Act or any
other enactment.
(2) The Executive Committee has the following powers:
(a) to appoint a Media Council pursuant to section 6 to
administer and manage the complaints procedure under
Part 5;
(b) to appoint any committee and to delegate to that committee
any of their powers (including the power to revoke the
delegation);
(c) to carry out other powers that are necessary or reasonably
expedient for the exercise and performance of its
functions and duties, including any powers as may be
conferred on it by this Act or any other enactment.
(3) Three (3) members of the Executive constitute a quorum for its
meeting.
(4) Nothing in this section prevents the Executive Committee from
appointing to the committee any person who is not a member of the
Association if:
(a) it is appropriate to have lay representation on it; or
(b) the Executive Committee considers the person can
contribute to the effective performance of the role and
duties of the committee.
(5) The Executive Committee may determine its own procedures,
subject to this Act.

PART 7
MISCELLANEOUS

38. Interim Council-(1) If the Council is unable to effectively
carry out its functions under this Act or there is no Council, the Head
of State, acting on the advice of Cabinet, may appoint an Interim
Council to carry out the functions of the Council until the appointment
of a new Council pursuant to section 6.
(2) The following applies to the Interim Council:
(a) if there is no Code of Practice, the Interim Council may
approve a Code of Practice for the purposes of this Act,
until a Code of Practice is approved by the Association;







20 Media Council 2015, No. 25

(b) any unresolved complaints before the Interim Council shall
be referred back to the Council once a new Council is
appointed.

39. Protection from personal liability - A person who carries out
a function, duty or power under this Act is not personally liable for
carrying out, in good faith, the function, duty or power.

40. Regulations - The Head of State, acting on the advice of
Cabinet, may make regulations to give effect to the provisions or for
the purpose of this Act, in particular to make regulations:
(a) to prescribe matters to be included in the Code of Practice;
(b) to prescribe any procedure or right relevant to the making
of complaints;
(c) to prescribe any requirement or procedure relating to the
hearing and determination of any complaint;
(d) to make further provision in relation to the powers of the
Council, in relation to breaches of the Code of Practice,
and the penalties and requirements that may be imposed
in relation to such breaches.

41. Consequential amendment - For section 10 of the
Newspapers and Printers Act 1992/1993 substitute:

“10. Protection of journalist’s sources-(1) A journalist is not
compellable in a civil or criminal proceeding to answer any
question or produce any document that would disclose the identity
of the informant.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if a court is satisfied that the
public interest in the disclosure of evidence of the identity of the
informant outweighs:
(a) any likely adverse effect of the disclosure on the
informant or any other person; and
(b) the public interest in the communication of facts and
opinion to the public by the news media and,
accordingly also, in the ability of the news media to
access sources of facts.
(3) In this section:
“informant” means a person who gives information to a
journalist in the normal course of the journalist’s work in
the expectation that the information may be published in
the news media;







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“news media” means news media for the dissemination to the
public or a section of the public of news and observations
on news;
“public interest in the disclosure of evidence” includes, in a
criminal proceeding, the defendant’s right to present an
effective defence.”.

42. Transition and saving - At the commencement of this Act:
(a) persons who, immediately before the commencement of
this Act, were members of the Executive Committee
and members of the Association incorporated under the
Incorporated Societies Ordinance 1952 (“incorporated
Association”) continue until the first Annual General
Meeting to be convened under this Act;
(b) any reference to the incorporated Association in any
document or enactment is taken to be reference to the
Association established under this Act;
(c) the incorporated Association is taken to have been wounded-
up voluntarily under Incorporated Societies Ordinance
1952;
(d) assets and liability of the incorporated Association vest in
the Association established under this Act; and
(e) any proceedings against incorporated Association continue
against the Association established under this Act.

__________
The Media Council Act 2015 is administered by the
Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.