Media Law: Supreme Court Rejects Per Saltum, Upholds Suspension

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The Supreme Court ruled the government’s request for a per saltum midday today “inadmissible”, rejecting the measure that would have allowed the controversial Media Law case to skip straight to the nation’s highest court. Instead, the normal proceedings stand, dashing government hopes for a quick conclusion. The decision also rejected an appeal against the suspension currently protecting the Grupo Clarín media conglomerate from divestment, stating that it should remain in place until a “definitive sentence” is reached.

The government appealed per saltum on 19th December after a ruling in its favour from Horacio Alonso, judge of the First Instance on 14th December. The Court of Appeals must now rule before either party can appeal for the ultimate Supreme Court ruling.

Per saltum is an extraordinary legal tool used in “institutionally important” situations in which a party can ask the Supreme Court to hear his case directly, bypassing corresponding lower courts to which he would normally have to appeal first.

According to CN23, the seven judges’ decision against granting a per saltum was unanimous, but the suspension’s continued existence was not.

The court’s decision, delivered in only a few concise sentences, leaves Grupo Clarín’s polemic constitutionality case against the Media Law with no prompt end in sight.

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