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Improve Cooperation in Local Communities

Members of the Association of Court Reporters, AIS held a meeting in Sarajevo on February 24 at which they discussed future steps needed for improvement of cooperation between judicial institutions in local community and media representatives.

Besides the State Court reporters, representatives of the media from six local communities, who report on war-crimes trials held at lower courts, attended the meeting.

The meeting participants concluded that cantonal and district courts and prosecutions should improve cooperation with the media and make their work more accessible to the public.

The media representatives pointed to a few problems facing them in their work with judicial institutions in Mostar, East Sarajevo and Doboj.

Arnes Grubesic from Doboj said that, according to the rules set by the District Court in that town, journalist have to obtain permission to attend trials. This pertains both to TV crews and journalists who do not carry any recording equipment with them. In case they have not obtained the permission, they are not allowed to attend hearings, even when the trial is not closed to public.

As they said, journalists obtain information from the Cantonal Court in Mostar and the District Court in East Sarajevo in a more difficult way.

Sanela Gakovic from Mostar says she has to call the Court every week in order to find out when a trial will start, while Selma Ucanbarlic says she obtains information about the trials held at the District Court in East Sarajevo by calling one of the judges.

Dzenita Dzubur from Bihac said that judicial institutions in Una Sana Canton have built really good relations with media representatives. Dzubur says that she has had not problems in terms of her cooperation with judicial authorities in that town after having informed her that she works as BIRN BiH correspondent under the Local Justice under Spotlight project.

In view of the situation in some local communities, on March 24 AIS representatives will hold the first meeting this year with the media and judicial authorities in Mostar. The aim of the meeting is to improve the cooperation between media and judicial institutions in that area.

Similar meetings will be held in Tuzla, Bihac and Sarajevo over the course of the year.

AIS representatives also concluded that they should hold meetings with the State Court and its Prosecution in the upcoming period in order to try to overcome the existing problems and agree on cooperation that would represent a model of good practices in the field of transparency of judicial institutions.

The AIS meeting was attended by: Arnes Grbesic(Radio ZOS), Dzenana Sivac (RTV Zenica), Sanela Gakovic (Radio Stari Most), Nebojsa Kolak (Nezavisne novine), Dzenita Dzubur (RTV Bihac), Muamer Selimbegovic (Fena), Aida Mia Alic (BIRN), Denis Dzidic (BIRN), Dragana Erjavec (BIRN), Erna Mackic (BIRN), Anisa Suceska Vekic (BIRN), Amer Jahic (BIRN), Albina Sorguc (BIRN) and Selma Ucanbarlic (BIRN).

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