ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR JOURNALISTS
Journalists holding a valid Visitor’s pass have free access to the courtroom galleries and press centre. Journalists are strictly forbidden from accessing any other area, unless their visit is approved by the employee that they are about to meet and when escorted by a PIOS staff member.
Journalists with a press pass visibly displayed at all times may proceed directly to the courtroom gallery and security guards who are on duty may help them through the building.
With the exception of press conferences, any video recording or photograph taking in the courtrooms must be approved by PIOS, upon the previously obtained authorization by the President of the Court. Video/audio recording, photographing from the courtroom gallery is strictly prohibited, and so is bringing cellular phones to the courtroom gallery.
The Court will consider without delay requests for audio/video recordings filed by media representatives. Generally, all media requests for AV recordings from the ongoing trials will be processed on the same day provided that the request has been filed not later than 9 a.m. on the day of the hearing. When possible, the Court will also process requests filed after 9 a.m. on the same day.
Media representatives normally take over audio/video recordings personally, at the reception desk of the Court. Media representatives or requesters will take over the audio and/or audio/video recordings free of charge, provided that they supply an empty DVD-R or CD on delivery. Requesters who fail to take over a recorded DVD-R/CD will be allowed to file a new request only if they supply an empty DVD/CD, or pay copying costs incurred by their previous request.
The Court will regularly post on its web site (www.sudbih.gov.ba) photographs approved to be taken during trials, three times in the course of the proceedings: during the entering of a plea, once during the main trial and during the pronouncement of the verdict. The media are free to take over and publicise those photographs, noting that they are taken from “the archives of the Court of BiH”. The Court will approve individual requests for photographs only if there are serious and valid reasons for that, which have to be specifically explained by the requester medium.
Form for audio, audio-video records or photographs can be downloaded here.
Journalists give their contribution to the development of the rule of law by proper coverage and reporting from trials, showing respect to the rights not only of the accused, but also of all other parties to the proceedings.
Under the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, all persons shall enjoy the right to a fair trial in civil and criminal matters and other rights relating to criminal proceedings (Article II 3. e. of the Constitution).
“A person shall be considered innocent of a crime until proven guilty.”
The presumption of innocence is one of the key principles of the criminal procedure /Article 3 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina). The rights and freedoms set forth in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its Protocols shall apply directly in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These shall have priority over all other law. (Article II 2. of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina).
Therefore, only the Court can establish if a person has committed a criminal offence. Until a final verdict is handed down, finding a person guilty, of a certain criminal offence, the media should use expressions that do not prejudice the guilt of the accused. Expressions to be used include: “there is grounded suspicion that …”, “because he allegedly …” and so on.