Expert legal analysis on freedom of expression laws in BiH and their compatibility with European standards of protection of human rights – the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media, was a subject of discussion at a round table.
The analysis produced by the international experts was also a basis for the recommendations for potential harmonization of local legal framework. Also, local media law experts and the representatives of relevant institutions provided their comments to the analysis. Consistent application of existing standards is one of the core recommendations, that all participants agree with, when it comes to defamation cases that include the media and journalists. Another important topic of discussion was the relation between legal framework that regulates freedom of access to information, as opposed to private date protection, that is, in BiH context, often interpreted at the expense of freedom of expression..
Deputy Head of Council of Europe Office in Sarajevo, Loreta Vioiu opened the Round table and emphasized that Council of Europe will continue to support the insitutions in the process of harmonization of legal framework when it comes to protection of human rights and freedom of expression, but also in education process concerning consistent application of those standards, that are already a part of BiH legislative, as European Convention On Human Rights is a part of BiH constitution. Representatives of media community also participated at the round table, in order to provide multiple viewpoints and needs in the context of harmonization of legal framework on freedom of expression in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This round table is one of the activities of the project ”Human rights reporting and the role of media in BiH – media freedom legal framework analysis”, that is funded by Sweden and implemented by the Council of Europe, in cooperation with the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of BiH.