Birn hosts third meeting of court reporters association

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Members of the Association of Court Reporters who cover the Court of BiH held their third meeting on June 27. A list of proposals and suggestions aimed at improving the outflow of public information from the state judiciary was agreed and will be presented to the Court of BiH.

Members of the association, which is chaired by BIRN BiH, agreed on the following proposals:

* The possibility of introducing a live internet feed from
the courtrooms of the War Crimes Chamber should be explored. The system could follow the example set by the Hague tribunal. Such a service would not only help the electronic and non-Sarajevo based media to better cover the trials but would also make the justice process more open for the general public in BiH, the region and internationally.
* A rule book for journalists covering war crimes trials
should be produced in order to prevent misunderstandings and mistakes that jeopardise trials. It should be put together in cooperation with the Press Council and the Regulatory Communications Agency, as well as the Court of BiH.
* The importance of timely statements from court and
prosecution officials or their public information departments is once again reiterated. One of the reporters’ objections during the association meeting was that they do not receive the statements they request of the court officials on time, which diminishes the value of their report or results in stories being spiked.
Association members also repeated some of the previous suggestions to which they have not yet received a response from the Court of BiH.
* It is once again suggested that photographs from each
hearing are put on the appropriate section of the website which would contribute to the dynamics of reporting and increase the effectiveness of information coming out of the court.
* The association urges the court to adopt the practice of
publishing a weekly index/listing of motions and records filed in each case. While it is acknowledged that all public documents are available on request, it is clear that reporters and members of the public cannot make an informed decision on what motions are available to them without a listing. A similar procedure is already in practice at the Hague Tribunal.
* The association once again reiterates the need for the
introduction of weekly press briefings for the media where an update on events at the court is given to the public. This would improve the efficiency of communication between the media and the court as well as the quality of reporting. This proposal is also based on experiences of the Hague tribunal.

About the association:
The Association of Court Reporters was founded in 2005 in order to improve communication between the media and Court of BiH.

The work of the association is supported by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

If you have proposals for the association’s further work, please write to [email protected] or [email protected] . Find out more about the association on