Outcomes and Remedies
If the BSA upholds a complaint and decides a broadcaster has breached standards, there are different orders it can make.
It doesn’t always make orders on upheld complaints. This could be because the broadcaster has already taken enough action, or because the BSA determines that its decision is sufficient to respond to the breach.
If a complaint is upheld, we may ask the complainant and broadcaster for their views on what, if any, orders are appropriate. We’ll decide on any orders before releasing the final decision.
The broadcaster must follow any order the BSA issues. If they don’t, they may have to pay a fine.
If you have more questions about outcomes and remedies, phone us on 0800 366 996 or contact us here.
We can order the broadcaster to:
The wording and when it is broadcast must be approved by the BSA. This is the most common order issued.
See, for example: McCaughan and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2017-083
This limit is set in the Broadcasting Act 1989.
See, for example: Sanders and Apna Networks Ltd - 2017-017
We can order that compensation is paid to any individual whose privacy has been breached, including people who are not parties to the complaint. We can make multiple orders of up to $5,000, for each breach of privacy.
Costs awards may be granted to successful complainants to recompense them for some of their costs incurred in bringing the complaint. Generally only a partial contribution to costs will be ordered.
See, for example: Harvey and Lorck and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2018-036
For more detail, see our Guidance: Costs awards to complainants
This type of order is used rarely and only for the most serious complaints.
When the BSA considers making an order in relation to an upheld complaint, we ask the complainant and broadcaster for their views.
These will be considered along with factors including:
- the seriousness of the breach, and the number of upheld aspects of the complaint
- the degree of harm caused to any individual or the wider audience
- the objectives of the upheld standard(s)
- the attitude and actions of the broadcaster – such as whether they upheld the complaint and/or took mitigating steps; or disputed the breach and/or aggravated any harm caused
- past decisions and orders in similar cases.
Cost awards are usually to contribute to expenses such as legal fees incurred from the complaints process. See our guidance in the Codebook.
The BSA may order costs against a complainant only if it finds the complaint is frivolous or vexatious, or one that ought not to have been made; or if, in some limited circumstances, it considers it appropriate to do so due to the complainant failing to follow through with their complaint.
If the complainant or broadcaster doesn’t agree with our decision they can appeal to the High Court.
This must be lodged within one month after the parties are notified of the decision.
For further information and advice about filing an appeal, you can contact:
- a lawyer
- your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Community Law Centre
- the Registrar at the High Court.