The project, which was launched in 2005, provides in-depth analysis of local courts and training to journalists. BIRN BiH analyses the level of transparency at local courts and prosecution offices and formulates recommendations for the smoother and more efficient processing of war crimes.
Through these activities, BIRN BiH promotes public awareness of war crimes trials, bringing the country closer to establishing truth and reconciliation. By dealing effectively with issues of the past it also contributes to Bosnia’s progress with Euro-Atlantic integration.
With this project, BIRN BiH works to maximize awareness of the work of local courts dealing with war crimes through objective, fair reporting.
As part of this project, the BIRN BiH team founded and runs the Bosnian Association of Court Reporters, and has conducted more than 50 workshops and trainings in local communities for representatives of the judiciary and media.
The project is supported through institutional grants from the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, and the MATRA Program of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition, the project has received support from the United States Agency for International Development – Justice Sector Development Project II, and Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
To conduct a progress report on the work of the local courts dealing with war crimes, ensuring that they are not left behind in the judiciary reform processes.
To seek common solutions to sector-wide needs and problems.
To incite constructive dialog between stakeholders including the judiciary, civil society, media and international community.
To involve BIH citizens and the wartime diaspora in the justice and reconciliation process, as key victims and witnesses, but also a vital factor in BiH’s community and future development.
BIRN BiH’s advocacy programme has been a leading facilitator of the dialogue between media and judiciary at the local and state level.BIRN BiH founded the Association of Court Reporters (AiS). Together we organize a series of meetings between local media and representatives of the judiciary each year. In 2013, BIRN BiH – AiS meetings were held in Travnik, Eastern Sarajevo, Doboj, Trebinje, Brcko District, and Sarajevo. Since the start of the project, BIRN BiH organized more than 70 workshops in local communities for representatives of judiciary and media.
BIRN BiH was the first organization in the country to notice the Court of BiH’s adoption of the Rulebook on Access to Information, and Instructions on Anonymization of Courts Decisions, Audio/Video Recordings from Trials and publicly address it.
Through the transparency project and consistent campaigning against censorship, BIRN BiH has succeeded in making the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council in BiH (HJPC) to adopt a decision that should put an end to anonymisation of indictments, verdicts, and other courts’ audio-visual material. The decision is expected to be released in 2014.
BIRN BiH and AiS managed to introduce amendments to the existing Press Code of the BiH Press Council and the rules for journalists reporting on war crimes trials. It has also been a leading facilitator of the dialogue between media and judiciary at the local and state level.
In September 2009, BIRN BiH organised the first regional conference dedicated to judiciary transparency and the responsibility of the media, which brought together all the major actors from ex-Yugoslavia.
BIRN BiH established a partnership with FBiH Association of Prosecutors in order to have better impact on judiciary representatives over workshops that will be organized in the following years.