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The SCM Suspended Its Regulation On Access To Courts

01 November 2016
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On Tuesday, November 1, the Superior Council of Magistracy (SCM) suspended its regulation on access to court premises, which contained restrictive rules, especially referring to the conditions for media participation in public hearings. The information was confirmed to Media Azi by the SCM press service. Previously, several media organizations and outlets in a joint declaration qualified the adoption of this regulation as abuse by the SCM.

According to Carolina Mangir, senior specialist at the SCM service of protocol, public relations and media, the decision on suspension was made at the meeting on November 1. “Members of the SCM reached the conclusion that this regulation contained wrong provisions, which should be reviewed. They also suggested all interested persons – journalists, civil society representatives, etc. – to make proposals in this regard. Members of the SCM did not set deadlines for this,” she said.

At the end of October, non-governmental organizations and media outlets protested against this regulation imposing abusive restrictions that are contrary to European practices in access to information and access of the press to courts. They qualified the adoption by the SCM of the regulation on access to court premises as an abuse by the SCM, by which journalists and media outlets would be subject to additional restrictions of access to court hearings. Organizations and outlets asked the SCM to annul its decision of approving the regulation and to initiate discussions on this topic with the participation of journalists and media outlets relevant for the justice sector.

The regulation contained such provisions as submission of a request 24 hours before the court hearing, mandatory presentation of the ID card and a copy of it, as well as the obligation for the press to have special accreditation for access to courts. Currently, the media can participate in SCM meetings in a specially equipped room, where the meetings are transmitted live.

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