The Supreme Court of Uzbekistan is expected to sign a resolution “On ensuring the transparency of the trial and the right to receive information about the activities of the courts”.
The draft document notes that the mass media may not predetermine the results of the trial of a particular case or influence the court decisions in any way.
“A judge has no right to give an interview or speak to the media in a case in which a court decision has not entered into force,” the document says.
The transparency of the trial is ensured by providing the opportunity for the presence at the hearing of persons who are not participants in the process, including representatives of the media.
“Given that the presence of media representatives in open court in order to obtain information on the case is a legitimate way to obtain information,” the document says.
When considering a case in open court, photography, audio and video recording, as well as broadcasting of the trial in the media, are allowed:
- only with the consent of the parties and with the permission of the chairman of the court session (if it is a civil case);
- only with the permission of the chairman of the court session (if it is a criminal, administrative, economic or administrative liability case).
In this case, the court shall decide on accepting or rejecting the petitions of the participants or the representatives of the media on the spot.
“Those present in the courtroom are free to keep written notes, a transcript, and when considering an economic case or a case arising from administrative legal relations - an audio recording,” the draft document says.
However, the actions of persons observing the course of the court session in the forms permitted by law should not interfere with the order in the court session.
The draft resolution states that persons attending the hearing, including representatives of the media, must be provided with access to the courtroom in strict accordance with the procedure established by acts regulating the internal affairs of the court. In this regard, the courts must provide the opportunity to familiarize themselves with these documents at the entrance to the courthouse.
Limited access information includes, in particular, information related to:
- state secrets;
- other secrets protected by law;
- medical confidentiality;
- other information, access to which is limited by law.
In this case, the court cannot refuse to provide the requested information, referring to the fact that some part of it relates to information of limited access. In this case, a publicly available piece of information is provided.