Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ
North Macedonia

On 22 June 2020, the closing event was held for a series of online seminars on “Justice and the media in North Macedonia”. The series of seminars was organised by the Academy of Judges and Public Prosecutors for North Macedonia in partnership with the IRZ. Whilst the first seminars were aimed at presiding judges, the target group for the closing event was public prosecutors in management positions.

Once the event had been opened by the Director of the Academy, Prof. Dr. Natasha Gaber-Damjanovksa, and the IRZ Head of Section, lawyer Dr. Stefan Pürner, Otto Graf, the German Ambassador’s permanent representative, welcomed the participants. In his welcome speech, he emphasised the importance of the rule of law in North Macedonia’s preparations for EU entry. Otto Graf underlined the particularly positive fact that the cooperation between the Academy and IRZ is continuing during the current pandemic.

The first lecture at the online seminar was given by Prof. Dr. Jasna Bachovska-Nedic, who teaches media law at the “Saints Cyril and Methodius” University in Skopje. She started by painting a rather negative picture of the publicity work currently being carried out by courts and public prosecutor's offices in North Macedonia, before going on to present some positive examples, which she used to provide some specific recommendations for the future.

This was followed by a lecture by former Chief Public Prosecutor, Winfried Schubert, President of the Constitutional Court of the State of Saxony-Anhalt and of the Higher Regional Court of Naumberg, on the media work carried out by public prosecutors in ongoing investigation processes and in connection with indictments. He presented examples of media work by German public prosecutors, including some negative examples and breakdowns in communication. Winfried Schubert emphasised the fact that, in Germany's view, publicity work carried out by public prosecutors should carefully weigh up the interests of informing the public against the rights of suspects, the accused and defendants.

The series of events was met with a great deal of interest from the participants, who already knew each other from various events previously held in person by IRZ in North Macedonia. This meant that there was a good working atmosphere during the webinar.