Source: : Danas

The Faculty of Political Science yesterday hosted a round table on media rights in Serbia

Belgrade “An average judge in Serbia will not be familiar with the European Human Rights Convention and the practice of the European Court of Human Rights” said the dean of the Private University School of Law “Union”, Mr. Vladimir Vodinelic, at yesterday's round table “New Media Law in Serbia” held at the Faculty of Political Science. He explained that, as far as the implementation of European standards and media law in Serbia was concerned, “we failed to deliver according to our actual potentials” and warned that media freedom should not lag behind the European standards.  

“Media freedom is guaranteed for everyone and against everyone; it also safeguarded against any interference”, said Mr. Vodinelic. In his words, restrictions of media freedom are permissible, but “only insofar as they are legitimate, proportionate and clearly defined by the law.”

The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance, Mr. Rodoljub Sabic, said the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance, although not free from deficiencies, nevertheless guarantees access to information on the activities of public authorities on a non-discriminatory basis.

“Serbia lacks appropriate government structures to harmonize the laws with the European standards” Mr. Sabic pointed out. He emphasized the importance of educating the staff of public authorities.

The Director of the regional program “Legal State for Southeastern Europe” implemented by the “Konrad Adenauer” Foundation, Ms Stefanie Ricarda Roos, said the freedom of thought was an indispensable pillar of a democratic order, guaranteed also in the Constitution of Serbia. She said human freedoms were at risk of being narrowed, “in particular through political decisions”, and added the law governing access to information in Germany was enacted only on the 1st of January last year, with many uncertainties as to its practical implementation still remaining.

The round table was organized by the Centre for the Advancement of Law Studies (CUPS) and the “Konrad Adenauer” Foundation.