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Independent Complaints Authority for Radio and Television

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The Independent Complaints Authority for Radio and Television ICA (German Unabhängige Beschwerdeinstanz für Radio und Fernsehen UBI; French Autorité indépendante d’examen des plaintes en matière de radio-télévision AIEP; Italian Autorità indipendente di ricorso in materia radiotelevisiva AIRR; Romansh Autoritad da recurs independenta davart radio e televisiun AIRR) is a quasi-judicial authority of the Swiss Confederation. The ICA is administratively affiliated with the General Secretariat of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications DETEC and belongs to the infrastructure of regulatory bodies.

The ICA has existed since 1984 and was established because Parliament wanted to transfer the supervision of the content of radio and television programmes to an independent authority.[1] The ICA may only act on the basis of a complaint.

The remit of the ICA is set out in Article 93 para. 5 of the Federal Constitution, in Articles 4-6 and 82-99 of the Radio and Television Act, in Articles 75-77 of the Radio and Television Ordinance and in the rules of procedure.[2]


The ICA rules on complaints against the content of national, regional and local radio and television programmes and online content published by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. It determines whether the journalistic material published violates the relevant provisions of national and international law, including compliance with the requirements of appropriateness, the observance of fundamental rights and protection of minorities.

The ICA also designates and supervises the ombudsman offices of the private broadcasters, and submits an annual report on its activities to the Federal Council.


Before a complaint can be filed with the ICA, the proceedings must be brought before the office of the ombudsman. The eight ombudsmen’s offices for radio and television broadcasters examine the matter and mediate between the parties involved. They provide the results of their investigations in a report. Upon the completion of proceedings before the ombudsman, the complaint can be filed with the ICA. The persons entitled to file a complaint are those persons who are mentioned or referred to in the published or broadcast material. Whoever is not mentioned or referred to in the offending published or broadcast material must provide the support of at least 20 persons. Upon completion of the process of investigation, the ICA decides on the case in an essentially public hearing.[3] The ICA’s decision can be appealed to the Federal Supreme Court.

Measures in the event of infringements[edit]

If the ICA establishes an infringement of the law, it generally opens proceedings (Article 89 RTVA).[4] The broadcaster concerned needs to inform the ICA of the measures taken to remedy the deficiency and to ensure the infringement does not recur. If the ICA considers the measures to be insufficient, it can request DETEC to take action.

Composition of the ICA[edit]

The ICA comprises nine part-time members from Switzerland’s four language regions and a three-person secretariat, which provides technical and administrative support to the commission.[5]

The Federal Council appointed the following members for the term of office from 2020 to 2023:

  • Mascha Santschi Kallay, President
  • Catherine Müller, Vice President
  • Delphine Gendre
  • Nadine Jürgensen
  • Edy Salmina
  • Reto Schlatter
  • Maja Sieber
  • Armon Vital
  • Stéphane Werly

Former ICA presidents[edit]

  • Oskar Reck
  • Jörg Paul Müller
  • Bernard Béguin
  • Felix Auer
  • Ursula Nordmann
  • Denis Barrelet
  • Roger Blum
  • Vincent Augustin
  • Mascha Santschi Kallay


  1. "Zwischen Medienfreiheit und Publikumsschutz" (PDF). Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. "[Rechtliche Grundlagen] Unabhängige Beschwerdeinstanz für Radio und Fernsehen UBI". Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  3. "[Entscheide: suchen Sie mit Suchkriterien] Unabhängige Beschwerdeinstanz für Radio und Fernsehen UBI". Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  4. "Was bewirken Entscheide der UBI?" (PDF). Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. "[Zusammensetzung der UBI] Unabhängige Beschwerdeinstanz für Radio und Fernsehen UBI". Retrieved 2020-08-29.

External links[edit]

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