Adjudication Procedure

Upon receipt of the complaint with all the documentation, including the signed legal waiver, the Chairperson will refer the complaint to the MCC for consideration.

A copy of the complaint will immediately be forwarded to the media practitioner, media institution, and media .The owner or publisher concerned with a request for a formal written response to be made and delivered to the MCC within fourteen (14) days. The complaint will be made public by the MCC within seven (7) days of the complaint being referred to it by the Chairperson. This may be by way of printed or broadcast advertisement or via e-mail or posting on the MCC’s website.
Where a response is not received from the media practitioner, media institution, media owner or publisher concerned, the MCC will adjudicate in favor of the complainant. The MCC, through the Chairperson, may request further information from any party to the complaint at any time. Parties must respond promptly to requests from the MCC and comply with any time limits set. Where correspondence is not responded to within the stipulated time limits, the MCC will normally treat the complaint or defence as abandoned, depending on the party in default. The MCC will be convened at such time and venue to be decided upon by the Chairperson to consider the complaint.

The complaint will be adjudicated upon on the basis of the documentation provided, and there will be no formal hearing or attendance by the parties to the complaint. Parties will however be notified by the Executive Director of the date upon which the complaint will be considered. Once a date for consideration of the complaint has been notified, the MCC will not accept any further written material from either party without the approval of the Chairperson.

An  adjudication will be made by the MCC within thirty (30) days of referral of the complaint by the Chairperson to the MCC, save where there are compelling reasons for the MCC to extend the time limit. In such a case, the adjudication where there are compelling reasons for the MCC to extend the time limit. In such a case, the adjudication must be made within forty-five (45) days of referral of the complaint by the Chairperson to the MCC.

Powers of Co-option of the Media Complaints Committee
The MCC may co-opt a representative of an association or union of media practitioners to assist it in the performance of its functions, including its deliberations, but such representative will have no voting powers.
Powers of the Media Complaints (MCC) in Adjudication where there are compelling reasons for the MCC to extend the time limit. In such a case, the adjudication must be made within forty-five (45) days of referral of the complaint by the Chairperson to the MCC.

Powers of Co-option of the Media Complaints Committee
The MCC may co-opt a representative of an association or union of media practitioners to assist it in the performance of its functions, including its deliberations, but such representative will have no voting powers.

Powers of the Media Complaints MCC  in Adjudication
The  general  publication  of  an  adjudication  may  be  embargoed  for  ten  (10)  days  from  the  date  of adjudication to enable the affected party to publish first, where such party is a media practitioner, media institution, media owner or publisher, except where there is a compelling interest to the contrary.

The MCC may restrict communication and reporting of adjudications where there is a compelling interest, such as where the complainant is a child. Where the adjudication has not been published by the affected party, or where the MCC believes that the publication is a misrepresentation of the adjudication, or where the adjudication has not been published with adequate prominence, the MCC may recommend to the Council such action as it considers appropriate in the circumstances. The proceedings of the MCC will be reviewable by the High Court.