BIRN BiH has filled a gap in domestic journalism in reporting on and monitoring war crimes prosecutions, but there is a simultaneous gap regarding rule of law issues. This problem is evidenced by ongoing tabloid-esque coverage of organised crime, corruption and terrorism. Inadequate research and a failure to comply with ethical standards have resulted in lawsuits against publications that have concerned themselves with rule of law issues.
BIRN BiH was also the first media outlet to start to write about disciplinary procedures within judicial institutions. Until then, these cases were unfamiliar to the public, since no press statements or any other kind of information from the judiciary was made public.
By achieving its project goals, BIRN BiH successfully contributes to the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina through consistent monitoring of and reporting on the work of the domestic judiciary, thereby ensuring the judiciary’s accountability to the country’s citizens as well as harmonisation with relevant EU standards.
By establishing an editorial team trained in monitoring organsed crime, corruption and terrorism cases before the Court of BiH, the project aims to expose both good and bad practices by the country’s judiciary in regard to the rule of law; to raise reporting standards in the media, and to restore public trust in judicial institutions.
- Attending organised crime, corruption and terrorism trials;
- Conducting fieldwork, collecting data and interviewing stakeholders (investigative journalism);
- Writing and publishing analysis pieces and investigative stories;
- Exercising public pressure via press conferences and social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube;
- Exercising public pressure via TV shows geared towards a large viewership;
- Judiciary and media follow-up analysis (measuring the project’s impact), followed by a set of recommendations to governmental institutions made by relevant stakeholders (judiciary representatives, journalists, academia, etc).
- the Bosnian judiciary
- the wider media
- the international community
The project benefits lawyers, judges, and staff members at state- and entity-level courts, as well as the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, the Ministry of Justice and the Court of BiH, and the general public in the country.