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If the BSA upholds my complaint, what are the remedies? Does the broadcaster have to do anything?

If we uphold your complaint we may issue an order that requires the broadcaster to take some form of action. The broadcaster must comply with our order – if they don’t, they can be liable for a fine.

We can order the broadcaster to:

If your complaint has been upheld by the BSA and the BSA is considering making an order it will ask you for your opinion on what should happen.

How does the Authority decide whether to make an order?

If the Authority is considering making an order, both you and the broadcaster will be asked for your views on what orders, if any, should be made.

The Authority then considers both parties’ submissions and takes into account a number of factors including, but not limited to:


  • the seriousness of the breach, and the number of upheld aspects of the complaint
  • the degree of harm caused to any individual, or to the audience generally
  • the objectives of the upheld standard(s)
  • the attitude and actions of the broadcaster in relation to the complaint (eg, whether the broadcaster upheld the complaint and/or took mitigating steps; or whether the broadcaster refuted the standards breach and/or aggravated any harm caused)
  • whether the decision will sufficiently remedy the breach and give guidance to broadcasters, or whether something more is needed to achieve a meaningful remedy or to send a signal to broadcasters
  • past decisions and/or orders in similar cases.


When would the BSA order costs to a complainant?

The BSA has issued a practice note that explains the approach we are likely to take when awarding costs to a complainant:

> See Practice Note: Costs awards in favour of complainants> See Practice Note: Costs awards in favour of complainants

Is it possible I could be ordered to pay costs?

The BSA can only order costs against a complainant if it finds the complaint is frivolous or vexatious or one that should not have been made:

> See Practice Note: Section 11 powers to decline to determine a complaint

Can I appeal a BSA decision?

Yes, the complainant and the broadcaster both have the right to appeal any BSA decision to the High Court. You must give notice of that appeal within one calendar month of the decision.