Jurists set principles on the media and the judiciary

The ICJ’s Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers have concluded a three-day seminar on the relationship between the media and the judiciary in Madrid.

The seminar is part of an on-going study on the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession.

Lawyers, judges and journalists from Spain and different regions of the world gathered in Madrid to focus on the relationship between the media and the judiciary. The object has been to draft principles destined to facilitate a relationship that would enhance both the necessity of a free press and the independence of the judiciary. The debate also concentrated on the right of the accused, especially minors, to privacy and the presumption of innocence.

Many different angles were taken into consideration. They included the impact of publicity on judicial proceedings, the emergence of increasingly global and transnational modes of communication and their impact on judicial procedures, the relation between ethics and judicial independence, the restraints which may be necessary for the proper administration of justice, media criticism of judges and judicial decisions as well as in-depth perspectives of these issues in countries such as Brazil, the United Kingdom, France, Ghana, Jordan, India and Australia.

These principles fill a gap which is increasingly highlighted by the progress made in contemporary modes of dissemination of information. The principles are attached herewith.

madrid principles on media and judicial independence-publication-1994-eng (full text in English, PDF)

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