21 July 1999
The rules of procedure of Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) establishe how the board operates, procedure rules regarding dispute settlement decisions, reconciliation and sanctions ART can proclaim against network operators and telecommunications service providers should they default on their obligations.
Beyond the rules established by the rules of procedure adopted in March 1997, ART has developed practices ensuring that parties, when settling a dispute or sanction, have procedural guarantees comparable to those they would have received before a court of law, in the strict respect of the stipulations of article 6 of the European Human Rights Agreement which guarantee the right to a fair trial to all accused.
Thus, ART applies the principle of separating instruction and decision functions by having its departments examine the disputes, whereas the board rules on the disputes and sets sanctions without the department managers being present.
In this spirit, the new rules of procedure, rewritten in their entirety for reasons of clarity, define the procedures applied within the framework of the powers for the settlement of disputes and sanction granted to ART. These procedures are based on the following principles:
The chairman of ART and members of the board are not involved in examining disputes and sanctions
The legal department manager leads the dispute and sanction procedures; moreover, at the start of each procedure, a reporter is appointed from an ART department
Dispute and sanction procedures respect the principle of contradictory proceedings; with sanction procedures guaranteeing, at every step of examination, the right to defence
As regards dispute settlement for sanctions, a public hearing is held. The parties can request that this hearing not be held in order to protect commercial secrets.
- The board deliberates in private, outside the presence of the reporter and ART agents
This text has been published in the Journal officiel, and is available on ART's Web site (pdf - 29 Ko)