May 21, 2013
Media Law: Supreme Court rejects Government's 'per saltum' request
After President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s tough speech against a “corporate” judiciary, the Supreme Court rejected the per saltum filed by the Presidential Cabinet’s lawyers against to fight the extension of the injunction on the Media Law.
According to judicial sources, the highest court surprised many by meeting on Monday afternoon, after they had failed to reach a consensus in the morning.
It was initially believed that the Court had postponed their decision until Tuesday, but by 5 PM on Monday the ruling had already been drafted.
Present at the first meeting were the Chief Justice Ricardo Lorenzetti, Elena Highton de Nolasco, Juan Carlos Maqueda, Enrique Petracchi, Carmen Argibay, Carlos Fayt and Eugenio Zaffaroni.
The justices rejected the Government’s request to strike down the injunction extended by a federal court last week that benefits Grupo Clarín.
Court officials explained that their decision to reject it was based on a procedural error during the administration’s request.
Despite a few of the judges voting in favour of the Government, the judges considered that the administration should have made the request to the Federal Court first before reaching to Supreme Court, because there is no first instance sentence yet.The national government said yesterday the Supreme Court would have to overturn the December 6 ruling by the Civil and Commercial Court “within the next 48 hours.”
The civil court ruled to extend the Clarín Group’s injunction on Article 161 of the Media Law until it had determined whether the same article was unconstitutional. The government responded immediately by appealing against said ruling.
According to Presidential under-secretary Gustavo López, “the Supreme Court will have to resolve the government’s appeal within the next 48 working hours and will have to overturn the civil court ruling.”
Presidential under-secretary Gustavo López added: “The ruling goes against what the Supreme Court itself has said on various occasions.”
Following the government’s appeal last Friday against the injunction extension granted to the Clarín Group, and rumours of an initiative to impeach the judges who ruled to that end, AFSCA audiovisual media regulatory body director Martín Sabbatella said yesterday that “what Argentina needs is the triumph of democracy over corporate interests.”
The AFSCA head assured that the balance of the Media Law’s success and the concrete effects of “7D” (December 7) were positive, because “all the (media) groups except for the Clarín Group have submitted their adaptation plans.”