The High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, HJPC, concludes that courts and prosecutions are not obliged to anonymise their acts, but they should take care of the balance between public and private interests.
During a HJCP session the Center for Court Documentation, CSD, proposed a partial change of policy related to availability of information. The change means that courts and prosecutions should make their own assessment on when the public interest in justified.
“The Chamber supports this proposal. I must say that our previous recommendation for anonymisation was not an obstacle for publishing information on the Internet. We issued it mainly in order to harmonise practices,” said Vera Bjelogrlic, Chief of CSD.
She said that the new recommendation would be submitted to all courts and prosecutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“At its session the Council also supported a recommendation to form a working group, which would prepare guidelines on the basis of which courts and prosecutions would act when it came to availability of information,” Bjelogrlic said.
She said that, as far as prosecutorial acts were concerned, the HJPC recommended anonymisation in May this year, but it stressed that information could be published in case there was big public interest.
The anonymisation of documents began in March last year after the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina had accepted an opinion by the Agency for Protection of Personal Data of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Later on representatives of the Agency said that their recommendation was interpreted wrongly.
In March last year the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted revisions of the Rulebook on Access to Information, which included using initials instead of full names in court documents, as well as issuing only ten-minute long recordings from trials.
After having been criticized for withholding information, the Court began working on revising those rules at the beginning of the year.
Unofficial data suggest that, now that the HJPC has adopted the recommendations from today, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina is expected to adopt a new Rulebook soon.