Association of Court Reporters

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The Association of Court Reporters (AIS) is an advocacy network of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The association is an informal group of court reporters who work for print and electronic media in Bosnia. The AIS, established in 2005, has the aim to improve communication between the media and the courts of Bosnia and Herzegovina and through this also increase the level of objective and high-quality information reaching the public.[1]


BIRN BiH is an independent non-governmental media organization which specializes in monitoring and reporting war crime trials. As a part of their ongoing advocacy project called Transparency of Judiciary and Responsibility of Media, BIRN BiH founded AIS in 2005. Through the association, BIRN BiH aims to improve the collaboration between the media and representatives of judicial institutions for the purpose of impartially informing the public about proceedings. BIRN BiH itself defines the AIS as "an effort to encourage constructive dialogue between stakeholders in the judiciary, civil society, media and international community through workshops and trainings in local communities".[2]

The AIS acts as an informal advocacy body for court reporters and is currently composed of more than 30 court reporters, monitors and journalists of BiH media. The association is financially supported by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a part of BIRN BiH’s Justice Series programme.


Since the establishment of the AIS, it has achieved notable progress. It effectively communicates with the public relations offices of the Court of BiH and Prosecution of BiH, as well as numerous media outlets in the country and non-governmental organisations. AIS has partnered with BIRN BiH on a number of projects, including the Transparency of Judiciary and Responsibility of Media project.

In 2006, AIS members were involved in amending Bosnia's Press Code of Ethics[3] and took part in the drafting of a body of recommendations for court reporting. These guidelines were later promoted at a series of conferences related to media responsibility held in Mostar, Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Bijeljina in 2007.

Since 2008, the AIS has organised numerous meetings and round tables with judiciary and media representatives around the country. Through these meetings the AIS aims to open the lines of communication between judiciary institutions and media representatives and to train them on the importance of war crime reporting.

Since 2012, the AIS has actively partnered with BIRN BiH in its efforts to increase discussion about and oppose the anonymization practices of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[4] The current practices of the Court, the use of initials instead of full names in court documents and verdicts as well as limited video and audio recording from the court hearings, reduce the level of transparency and limit the media’s ability to inform the public fully and objectively about war crimes and other serious crimes. The advocacy culminated in the successful campaign [5][6]


  1. A. Barbour, Stephanie, and International Center for Transitional Justice. "CHAPTER 2: Making Justice visible: Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Domestic war Crimes Trials Outreach." Transitional Justice, Culture, and Society. New York: Social Science research Council, 2014. 96.
  2. BIRN. Annual Report 2013. Sarajevo: Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2013
  3. "Justice Series: Media, civil society and war crime trials." Programme:. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2014. Project for Investigative Journalism and Cooperation Between Media and Civil Society Archived 2014-07-13 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Stop Censoring of War Crimes :: Justice Report." Stop Censoring of War Crimes :: Justice Report. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2014.
  5. “Stop Censorship About War Crimes” launched in June 2013.
  6. "BIRN launches campaign against censorship on war crimes." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 23 May 2014.

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