Filing a complaint with the SMC

Filing a complaint with the Commission should be the first step in resolving disputes that arise between media organisations or between the public and media organisations. It provides an alternative to expensive and lengthy court proceedings for settlement of disagreements. However, the aggrieved person or organisation may always seek redress in a court of law should he be of the view that the ruling by the SMC is unsatisfactory.

The SMC will not hold an inquiry into any matter in respect of which any proceeding is pending in a court of law.

Who can make a complaint and what can I complain about?

Any person or organisation that can complain about any publications or broadcast programmes, published, aired, not published or not aired, that personally affects you or if you think that it breaches the Seychelles Media Commission Code of Conduct or laws.

You can also complain about the behaviour of a journalist if you feel that that behaviour involved a breach of the Code or your rights.

How to file a complaint?

1.     A person bringing a complaint against a publication, broadcaster, an editor or a media practitioner should file the complaint in writing with the Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Media Commission, through the online form or through a letter.

Each complaint shall contain the following information:

1. Details of the complainant;

2. The article/series of articles or a clip of the audio/visual content which contain the published material complained of;

3. The reasons for the complaint;

4. What rights of the complainant have been breached by the publication?

5. Any harm or damages that the complainant claims to have suffered as a consequence of the publication.

6. Complainants are requested, where possible, to use the online complaint form below. The Commission will, also accept complaints by letter.

7. All complaints must be accompanied by the material complained against other supporting material may be supplied.

What happens once the complaint is filed?

Upon receipt of the complaint, it will be assessed for acceptance, to determine whether it should be referred to the SMC Board. The CEO may request that the complainant to provide additional information within a specified amount of time that is to be specified.

1. The CEO has the power to decline a complaint if the Complainant fails to comply with the requirements, as stated in the Act.

2. The Commission will not inquire into any matter in respect of which any proceeding is pending in a court of law.

3. A copy of the written statement from the respondent shall be forwarded to the complainant for information.

4. If there is to be a hearing, notice of the time, date and place of hearing shall be served on the complainant and the respondent by registered post. In the inquiry before the Committee the parties shall be entitled to present relevant evidence, oral or documentary, and to make submissions in support of their complaint.

What will happen after that the inquiry has been held?

After examining the record of the case, the Commission shall, pass order giving its decision or it may remit the case to the Committee for such further inquiry as the Commission may deem necessary and after receipt of its report dispose of the case.

The decision of the Commission shall be communicated in writing to both parties to the case.

What are the time limits?

A compliant should be filed within three months of the broadcast, publication, non-broadcast or non-publication. The Commission has forty five days from the date of receipt of a complaint, complete in all respects. The Media House or Media Practitioner against whom the complaint has been filed, has fourteen days from the date of service of the copy of the complaint, to submit a written statement in reply to the complaint.