A working meeting was held yesterday in the Criminal Court in Skopje, which was attended by representatives of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), members of the Judicial Media Council, judges from the Criminal, Civil, Appeal, and Constitutional Courts in Skopje, representatives of the OSCE Mission in Skopje, Council of Europe – Program office in Skopje and Coalition All for a fair trial.
During the meeting, the President of AJM, Mladen Chadikovski, and the President of the Judicial Media Council, Vasko Magleshov, signed a memorandum of cooperation between the two organizations.
The opening address was given by the President of AJM, Mladen Chadikovski, who said:
“For us, it is important that the procedures that deal with topics that are important for the work of journalists and for freedom of expression, in general, do not deviate from the positive practice of the court in Strasbourg. That is why AJM organized and participated in workshops for journalists and judges as well as prosecutors in the past, with which we wanted to show that we can communicate together on topics that are of interest to us and that we know what the red line is when freedom of expression is abused, and it violates another human right. In this direction, the judges are surely familiar with the tripartite test’s application mechanism. A mechanism that is used in the human rights court in Strasbourg and is important not only for judges but also for journalists, during its practical application, it is first examined whether the restriction of freedom of expression is prescribed by law, then whether it is aimed at achieving a legitimate purpose, and finally, whether it is “necessary in a democratic society.”
The event was welcomed by the President of the Basic Criminal Court Skopje, Ivan Djolev, who said:
“For me, participation in the Judicial-Media contributed to a change in the way I experience the media. We needed this body. In the past few years, many steps have been taken toward how the relationship between journalists and judges should look. Under the influence of the Judicial Media Council, the strategy for transparency in the Criminal Court was made, which has just been published on our website, and other activities that constantly improve mutual communication.”
In his speech, Vasko Magleshov, the President of the Judicial Media Council, recalled the beginnings of cooperation with the Criminal Court and said:
“I would like to add some details about how our history began, in terms of cooperation, what we have been through, and what we have the idea of going through in the future. The idea is good to cooperate more with a positive spirit, respect each other more and inform the public more about important information.”
After the opening speeches and the signing of the memorandum, there followed a debate by the present representatives of the institutions and organizations in the direction of improving the cooperation with the judicial and media authorities through joint activities, consultations, and campaigns. Previous experiences were shared among journalists from various media outlets in the country that regularly report on the work of the courts, as well as the experiences of judicial authorities from media reporting on court processes, all in favor of the public interest but also of professional journalism and the independence of the judges.
Skopje, February 24, 2023
The event is organized within the project “Strengthening media freedom in North Macedonia” financed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and implemented by the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and Free Press Unlimited in partnership with the Association of Journalists of Macedonia. The views and opinions of the participants in the event do not necessarily represent the views of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, nor of the organizations implementing the project or their local partner