SDP leader says media should be allowed to cover Const. Court sessions

NEWS 03.11.2020 18:54
Source: Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL

Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Pedja Grbin said on Tuesday that he would put forward a bill that would enable media outlets to cover sessions of the Constitutional Court as he considered the current practice very problematic.

“Despite the fact that the publicity of the Constitutional Court’s work is defined by law as a rule, the possibility for the media to physically or in some other way cover what Constitutional Court judges say in debates is being restricted. The Constitutional Court has been systematically withholding that right despite demands from the media,” he said.”The work of judicial bodies and all public authorities must be transparent and open, otherwise there is no democracy,” Grbin said.

High Criminal Court established “for the sake of one person”

As for the Constitutional Court’s decision that the establishment of the High Criminal Court was in line with the Constitution, which he and former Social Democrat Justice Minister Orsat Miljenic tried to contest, Grbin said that he would wait for the Constitutional Court’s full ruling and dissenting opinions to be published, expressing hope that in its ruling the court would cite at least parts of the opinions of the law schools which it had consulted.

“As far as I know, the Zagreb Law School gave a very clear explanation as to why the High Criminal Court would not be in line with the Constitution and why it is harmful and unnecessary. I look forward to seeing how Constitutional Court judges have explained their departure from the Zagreb Law School’s position,” Grbin said, noting that the court was being established for the sake of one person.

“This will make the Supreme Court’s job of harmonising court practice very difficult. We know that more than 90% of the case backlog at the Supreme Court are civil cases so it is entirely unclear why the High Criminal Court is being established since the case backlog at the Supreme Court is not due to criminal but civil cases,” said Grbin.