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Bill, Lifting Courtroom Media Restrictions, Approved
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 6 Mar.'13 / 14:47

Media restrictions in courtrooms, imposed more than five years ago, will be lifted after the legislative amendments, approved by the Parliament on March 6 with its third and final hearing with 101 votes, will go into force.  

Since 2007 media has been banned from carrying out audio and video recordings and taking photos in courtrooms; it was only possible in case of permission from a presiding judge.

According to the amendments to the law on common courts, which will go into effect after the President signs it into law, the public broadcaster will have the right to film and carry live broadcast of trials. Public broadcaster will have to then share footage with other media outlets if requested. In case of jury trials, media outlets will be banned from filming members of jury.

Every person, attending a trial, will have the right to carry out audio recording of hearings in courtroom, according to new regulations.

According to the amendments, restrictions will also be lifted from taking photos and videos, carrying out audio recordings in the yard and corridors of court buildings.

According to the legislative amendments, courts will have to carry out audio and video recording of trials and to then hand recordings over to parties. Courts have a deadline before June 1 to equip courtrooms with audio and video recording equipment. Government said in February that it had allocated GEL 3.55 million from its reserve fund for providing courts with such equipment.

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