PRESS FREEDOM IN ALGERIA, A DELICATE BALANCE

Publication date:
12/2012
Author:
Fatima Chenaïf
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An independent judiciary and a free press are the foundations of modern democracy as limits to the monopoly of political power. The independence of the judiciary is the guarantee of the effective protection of rights and freedoms. Through a free press, freedom of speech, which is the natural extension of political pluralism, becomes a reality.

In spite of this complementarity between judicial power and what we refer to as the fourth power, the reality is quite different. The difficulty of their coexistence is not only due to the different rules that govern them but also, and even more so, to the obstacles thrown up against such freedom. For the simple reason that the press rejects this corollary, considering itself to be the "watchdog" of democracy and the avowed critic of the acts of the public authorities. It goes even further by challenging the presumed independence of judicial power on the grounds that the latter cannot go any further than the fact of being an instrument in the hands of the public authorities, thereby concealing the damage that such dependence presents for the principle of the separation of powers so dear to Montesquieu.