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12.03.2013 17:43

Problems resulting from video-recording and live broadcasting of Court trials

Media about media

Netgazeti published Venice Commission Recommendations in relation to covering of Court trials.  The article says that as recommended by Venice Commission the article in the Criminal Code concerning video and audio recording during and live broadcasting from during Court trials is obscure and needs to be perfected.  Parliament of Georgia approved the coinciding changes to the Law on General Courts 6 March.  Recommendations from Venice Commission were publicized 11 March. 

Venice Commission stresses that audio-recording during Court trials insures transparency of trials and strengthens public control over Court activities.  Still, problems may be caused by video-recording of Court trials and their live broadcasting.  There is threat that the right for privacy provided for by the Fifth Article of the European Human Rights Convention may be violated. 

Due to live broadcasting of Court trials a witness may listen to another witness’s testimony and it may be harmful to both prosecution and defending sides. 

Venice Commission recommendations clarify that video-recording of Court trials may change behavior of trial participants.  Defendants and defense attorneys may be more interested to act in front of the public than in front of the Court; additionally, victims and witnesses, defendants may be afraid of cameras.  Due to video-recording a problem of identification/publicity of privacy of family members. 

Draft law proposed by the government says that parties and “other persons” may request recording of Court trial.  Venice Commission believes that it is obscure and not defined who “other persons” may be. 

Venice Commission believes that the coinciding law does not satisfy certain issues; for example:  Is it defined for how long a Court trial video-recording must be archived?  Can a person request video-recording at any time?  Can a broadcaster use a video-recording for any purpose? 

Venice Commission experts clarify that even the European Council has not set precise procedures for media coverage of Court trials.  

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