25 journalists have been recognized for their work reporting on Uzbekistan’s justice system reforms
The Supreme Court of Uzbekistan announced five winners of a mass media competition for reporting on Justice in the Rule of Law at an awards ceremony. The awards are a part of the ‘Rule of Law Partnership in Uzbekistan’ project, a joint initiative by the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan, the United States Agency for international Development (USAID) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Following last year’s mass media competition, this year’s event has been extended to encourage journalists to report on court activities and reforms. Promoting the effective transparency and openness of Uzbekistan’s courts through the provision of support and training to journalists, has helped ensure that the legitimate rights and interest of citizens are respected.
“In every court system, it is essential that justice is not only upheld, but also seen to be done,” said Aziz Abidov, head of the press office of the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan. “The tools and means that journalists need to report on court cases, including court reports, PR contacts on the Supreme Court website and press conference, are all currently available.”
“The challenge remains to empower journalists – offering the support and assurances needed for them to be able to critically and independently report on court actions.”
Over 120 journalists from across a range of media outlets, including television, radio, online and print entered this year’s competition with over 1,100 material submissions on recent court reform, justice and rule of law.
Judges who have most effectively engaged and collaborated with journalists through their work, and leading academics in media, journalism and legal fields, were also recognized.
This week’s competition proceeds a press tour which will visit courts in the Sirdarya, Djizzakh, Samarkand and Bukhara regions from December 10 to 12, and the subsequent ‘Transparency and Accessibility of Courts: An Important Factor in the Protection of Human Rights’ conference to be held on December 13.
The conference will include the presentation of the report ‘Global Experience in Journalist-Court Relations: Lessons Learnt from the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Estonia, Australia and South Korea’, developed by the ‘Rule of Law Partnership in Uzbekistan’ project, which presents recommendations on how Uzbekistan’s courts can better collaborate with journalists.