Improved relations between Mass Media and JudiciaryOct 19, 2016
In order to ensure the openness of information on civil courts activities Presidium of the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan has approved a Regulation on rules of presence of mass media at open court sessions of civil courts on September 19, 2016. The Regulation was developed within the framework of the joint Rule of Law Partnership in Uzbekistan Project of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This document promotes further improving courts and mass media interaction.
Mirzo Ulugbek Interdistrict Court on civil cases is one of the project pilot courts on introducing E-SUD electronic case management system in Tashkent city, it creates supportive environment for an effective interaction between the court and mass media. Representatives of local mass media have visited this court and had an opportunity to see the workflow of E-SUD e-justice system on October 19, 2016. Judges were interviewed who use e-justice system during the visit. In interviews with mass media judges of Mirzo Ulugbek Interdistrict Court on civil cases noted that introduction of E-SUD system makes it possible to reduce time necessary for writing judicial acts on writ proceedings, to reduce the amount of paper circulating and facilitate improved access to documents. Along with this, citizens and representatives of relevant entities and organizations were interviewed with first-hand experience in using electronic system to appeal to the court. These included representatives of the public utility services, claimants on alimony to support minor children and others. According to court visitors, use of e-justice system allowed them to reduce noticeably time necessary for submission of the case file and the time spent on cases, and to reduce the costs associated with physical visit to the court.
In pursuance of the Regulation an enabling environment has been provided for the mass media presence on public court hearings by civil courts. For instance, October 19, 2016 open visiting court sessions were held in Oqqurgon makhalla community of Mirzo Ulugbek district of Tashkent city with presence of representatives of local mass media, local authorities and Prosecution Service, and specialists from makhalla committee. Interviewed participants of the open court sessions shared their visions about benefits of visiting open court sessions. They noted convenience and savings in time for the participants, opportunities to deepen the knowledge of the causes and conditions which “contributed” to the disputes, as well as a positive educational effect on participants.
Development and introduction of the Regulation on rules of mass media presence at open court sessions is an extremely important in increasing court transparency and ensuring better access to information on court activities in light of implementation measures to further increase the availability of a judicial mode to resolve arising disputes. Now mass media representatives may be present directly in the administration of justice at open court sessions. As a result, citizens will benefit from a wide range of information about court activities which may, in turn, lead to increasing their trust to justice.