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Supreme Court did not gave recommendations as to taking photo and video records in criminal court sittings

02.12.2019, 17:25

The Supreme Court failed to provide clarification as to taking of video and photo pictures by journalists in criminal court, as it is said in the Supreme Court's response to IMI's request for information.

Referring to frequently asked question by the journalists who covered criminal cases, the lawyers with IMI inquired the court. Several journalists contacted IMI emergency phone line and asked whether they had to provide any motion to the court registry demanding to grant them authorization to take pictures in the courtroom, as it is required by judges. 

So, IMI's lawyers asked the Supreme Court of Ukraine to give elucidation as it follows:

  • What are the methodological recommendations of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, official interpretations or other similar documents that the judges relied upon, while deciding to ban photo or video shooting as they were to settle controversies related to publicity of the trial ?(Date, number, authority that approved such document).
  • What are the methodological recommendations of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, official interpretations or other similar documents that the judges are relied upon, while requiring from the journalists who are not litigants to file a motion for video recording in the courtroom in writing form before the trial ?(Date of approval, number, authority that approved such document).
  • Where exactly and in what way the methodological recommendations, officialinterpretations or other documents referred to in paragraphs 1 to 2 published have been published?

The Criminal Court of Cassation within the Supreme Court of Ukraine considered the request and gave its answer, in particular, saying, as it follows:

“Therewith, we inform that no methodological recommendations, legal positions (conclusions), explanatory letters, etc. regarding the application of the provisions of part four of Article 11 of Law No 1402-VIII and part six of Article 27 of the Code of Criminal Procedure have been provided by the Criminal Court of Cassation within the Supreme Court;  no general conclusions have been made as to the issue of authorization by the court in criminal proceedings to take photo, video pictures, to broadcast the court hearings on radio and television, as well as to make sound recordings using stationary equipment.”

The lawyer with IMI Ali Safarov noted that, according to the answer, no single clause existed which defined or stated how exactly to take pictures in the courtroom.

"This does mean that every judge in every particular court sitting in every criminal case is to decide by himself what is the norm to apply when journalists or others persons in the courtroom in a criminal case begin to record the course of events on the mobile phone," – the lawyer commented on.

Photo credit: alo-advokat.com.ua/

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