Organizations appear as amicus curiae in Supreme Court case on rating system for radio and television channels
Conectas, the News Agency for Children’s Rights (ANDI), the Alana Institute and the Institute for Socio-Economic Studies (INESC) appeared as amicus curiae in the Supreme Court hearing of the Direct Action of Unconstitutionality No. 2,404. In this case, the Brazilian Labor Party (PTB) is challenging the constitutionality of the policy on mandatory ratings for radio and television channels.
The policy in question establishes the age group for which a program is recommended and also the time at which it may be broadcast. It also requires that information about the target public appear before and during the broadcast of the audiovisual content.
The organizations defend the importance of this policy and its constitutionality. In the court, they presented the argument that the rating system is a way for families to ensure that children and adolescents are not exposed to inappropriate content. Data reveal that children and adolescents, the primary recipients of special constitutional protection, watch television for an average of 5 hours per day. Moreover, 85% of Brazilian children watch television every day and more than 95% of the country’s households have a television set.
The Brazilian Constitution itself designates the rating system as a means of applying the principles of social communication, according to which radio and television channels should “give preference to educational purposes” and “respect the ethical and social values of the person and the family”. The Constitution also determines that channels are subject to regulation by the government, which is responsible for providing information on the nature of the programs and the age group for which they are recommended.
Participation with amicus curiae status in constitutional cases lends legitimacy to Supreme Court rulings, to the extent that it presents the court with arguments from civil society that may have been absent from the debate. The rapporteur of the case, Justice Dias Toffoli, has already released the case and the judgment should take place on November 30.