08 December 2016
The OSCE Mission in Kosovo and the EULEX Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo launched the Justice Transparency Forum, a formal space for on-going communication between journalists and justice institutions during a workshop held in Rugova valley on 6-7 December.
The aim of the Forum will be to establish a dialogue between the media and justice institutions and to enhance transparency of the justice system.
“The Forum was developed following two identified needs: for journalists to become better acquainted with the court process and how to properly request and acquire public information as it relates to court proceedings on one hand, and for spokespersons of courts and representatives of justice institutions to strengthen their communication with the media and provide accurate, timely, and publicly relevant information on the other,” said Dane Koruga, Head of the Media Section in the OSCE Mission in Kosovo.
With the increased need for a wider scope of stakeholders, the Forum will also include representatives from the Kosovo Judicial Council, the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council, associations of journalists, the Press Council of Kosovo, and spokespersons of courts and justice institutions throughout Kosovo.
“The publicity of judicial proceedings means maintaining the balance between the public's right to know and the respect for privacy and presumption of innocence of those involved in the process. This balance between collective and individual rights defines all interactions between judiciary and the media. We have jointly created a platform where some of these issues can be addressed for the benefit of all, and mainly the wider public”, said Dragana Nikolic Solomon, Head of Press and Public Information Office in EULEX.
The launch also structured the Forum's initiatives for 2017, which will include simulation mock trial reporting at the Mitrovica Basic Court in the north of Kosovo – where EULEX still holds executive powers – and other initiatives to strengthen reporting on criminal justice.