Outcomes and RemediesIf the BSA upholds a complaint and decides that a broadcaster has breached standards, there are different orders it may make.
The BSA does not always make orders on complaints that have been upheld. This could be because the broadcaster has already taken sufficient action, or because the BSA determines that its decision is sufficient to respond to the breach of broadcasting standards.
If a complaint is upheld, we may ask the complainant and the broadcaster for their views on whether/what orders are appropriate. The BSA will decide whether to make an order, and what order to make, before releasing the final decision.
The broadcaster must follow any order the BSA issues. If they do not, 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 of the statement 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 are able to order that compensation be paid to any individual whose privacy has been breached, including individuals 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 in part for costs incurred in bringing the complaint. Generally only a contribution to costs will be ordered.
See, for example: Harvey and Lorck and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2018-036
This type of order is used rarely and only for the most serious complaints.
When the BSA considers making an order, we ask the parties to the complaint for their views on what orders, if any, should be made.
The actions and attitude of the broadcaster will affect what orders are made. For example, did the broadcaster:
- uphold the complaint in the first instance and take action to respond to the breach and reduce any harm it may have caused
- refute the breach and aggravate the initial harm caused?
Both parties’ submissions will be considered as well as other 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 to the audience generally
- the objectives of the upheld standard(s)
- the attitude and actions of the broadcaster in relation to the complaint (eg whether the broadcaster upheld the complaint and/or took mitigating steps; or whether the broadcaster disputed the standards breach and/or aggravated any harm caused)
- past decisions and/or orders in similar cases.
Cost awards are usually to contribute to expenses (such as legal fees) incurred from the complaints process. See our guidance on page 66 of the Codebook or here for more information.
The BSA may order costs against a complainant only if it finds the complaint is trivial, frivolous or vexatious or one that ought not to have been made; or considers that it is appropriate to do so by reason of the failure of the complainant to prosecute any proceeding or failure to give notice of the abandonment of any proceeding (see s16 of the Broadcasting Act).
If the complainant or broadcaster does not agree with the BSA’s decision they have the right to appeal against the decision to the High Court.
The appeal must be lodged in the High Court within one month from the date the parties were 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 nearest to you.