The Role Of The Media In Supporting A Transparent And Accountable Judiciary

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In July 2018, EU-UNDP SUSTAIN project held a media workshop on judicial reforms and the role of the press in supporting a transparent and accountable judiciary. The workshop was held in collaboration with the Supreme Court’s Bureau of Law and Public Relations and the Press Council. Around 30 national journalists from television, radio, newspapers and online media participated in the event.

The workshop was opened by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Prof. Dr. H. Muhammad Hatta Ali, S.H, M.H, and attended by UNDP Indonesia Country Director Christophe Bahuet, Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of the Delegation of the European Union to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam Charles-Michael Geurts as well as Chairman of Press Council of Indonesia Yosep Stanley Adi Prasetyo.

EU-UNDP Support to the Justice Sector Reform (SUSTAIN) project is a five year project funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP Indonesia. The project provides technical assitance to the Supreme Court in implementing judicial reforms based on the Supreme Court’s Blue Print for Reforms 2010-2035.

The media is the fourth pillar of democracy and has the responsibility of reporting court cases fairly and accurately in keeping with the law and the journalistic codes of ethics.  

The two-day workshop consisted of four-panel discussions. The first day panels discussed reforms undertaken by the Supreme Court in cooperation with the SUSTAIN project which featured top Supreme Court officials as well as members law NGOs.  Journalists were introduced to the online case tracking system (SIPP), which enables anyone to track the progress of a court case online, and an online whistleblowing system (SIWAS) which enables the public to report violations by judges and other court staff to the Supreme Court’s Oversight Body. 

The second day panels focussed on fair trials and journalistic coverage based on the laws as well as journalistic codes of ethics. Spokesperson of the Supreme Court H. Suhadi, SH, MH., Chairman of Press Council of Indonesia Yosep Stanley Adi Prasetyo, Former Chief Justice and Chairman of the Press Council Bagir Manan and a number of senior journalists were among speakers who shared their thoughts on court coverage by the media. At the end of the discussion the speakers agreed that there must be a set of clear and official guidelines on how to cover court cases to prevent trial by the press. 

At the end of the workshop, the journalists were taken to Cibinong State Court to see the facilities for juvenile court provided by SUSTAIN and spoke to some juvenile court judges trained by the project.  

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