Algeria/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.2 Division of jurisdiction

The interest in culture after independence which sprung up post-independence was not comprehensive. To make up for this shortage, the Algerian state adopted a set of legislative procedures and arrangements to benefit from the French experience without violating either nation’s sovereignty. These procedures are clearly articulated in the law endorsed by the National Constitutive Assembly on 31 December, 1962. Beginning in 1967, the state started implementing a series of laws to replace French laws. Act No. 73-29 was issued on 05 July, 1973 to cancel Act No. 62-157, which was issued by the National Constitutive Assembly on 31 December, 1962. Article Four provided that these laws will no longer be used as of July 05, 1975.Soon after independence, the government also began introducing legislation to negate French laws that limited cultural expression and freedom of information, particularly legilslation passed in 1881 concerning freedom of press.

The institutions affiliated with the Ministries of Information and Culture (Radio and Television, News Agency, and the Filmed Algerian Events Office) were established by constitutional laws, and the theatre was controlled by the Ministry of National Education. Institutions such as newspaper corporations, controlled the National Liberation Front party, were not based on legal texts like those in the custody of Ministry of Information.

Cultural institutions suffer a major legislative contradiction between maintaining commercial viability and upholding their cultural mission. Cultural institutions are divided into administrative (cultural centers, directorates and educational institutions), industrial and commercial (like cinema, theatre, or publishing). It is difficult for organizations to harmonize administrative, commercial, and cultural demands at any point along the spectrum of cultural institutions.

Cultural institutions created by the Algerian constitution are designed to provide a general service, not garner profit. Despite recent interest shown by the Algerian state in amending legislation, changes witnessed do not cover all areas of arts and culture.

Chapter published: 03-05-2013