BIRN BiH’s Justice Programme has had support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs since the early days of the project in 2005
Launched in early 2005, BIRN-BiH’s justice programme aims to bridge the gap between judicial institutions, security organisations, local government and the citizens of BiH through timely, objective and reliable reporting on past crimes and the institutions and mechanisms for dealing with them.
Having identified the launch of a local War Crimes Chamber (WCC) as an historical opportunity to tackle what we see as the main stumbling-block for all major political, social and economic issues affecting the country, we have sought to rally media and civil society to engage in and support the delivery of information about war crimes related justice.
In the first two years of the programme, we trained ‘beat reporters’ from all the main print and electronic media outlets to monitor domestic prosecution of war crimes as well as educated and motivated civil society groups around the country to get involved and support war crimes related justice.
We facilitated a dialogue and cooperation between state and court officials, civil society and the BiH media and created specialised news portal Justice Report dedicated to war crimes trials in BiH. Moreover, in 2007 the online production of Justice Report was supplemented by an audio programme Radio Justice in order to increase the audience of the project.
Most recently, in 2010, we successfully launched a TV programme TV Justice that has been also shown on some main national TV stations.
In depths analysis, news and investigations done by BIRN BIH, made a huge impact in the whole society, but influence the process it self acting critical in some moments and offering insight to the public about what is going on behind closed doors of the court room or offices of local and international officials in the country.
Learning from this experience, BIRN recently has established a broader editorial team to cover so called ‘lower’ courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but is also looking to ensure visibility for the regional war crimes justice. New team will not only cover issues related to trails, but to the whole spectrum of transitional justice.