Members of the Majlisi Namoyandagon (Tajikistan’s lower chamber of parliament) on May 14 endorsed a law on the access to information about activities of the judicial bodies, which was drafted by the government.

Presenting the draft law to lawmakers, Shermuhammad Shohiyon, the head of the Supreme Court of Tajikistan, noted that the law is aimed at ensuring the transparency and fairness of court proceedings, expanding collaboration between courts and mass media, and increasing the level of citizens' confidence in the judiciary.   

According to him the draft law, in particular, stipulates the principles for the provision of information by courts to the media and obligations of the parties (courts and media) in the dissemination of information. 

“The draft law also defines the principles for the participation of representatives of media in court proceedings, and obtaining information from the archives of the courts,” Shohiyon noted. 

He noted that according to the provisions of the bill, journalists can attend open trials. 

“Meanwhile, judicial information containing state secrets, commercial, family and personal secrets as well as  information concerning the honor and dignity of a person will remain closed to the media,” Supreme Court head said.

He further added that information, the disclosure of which may endanger the life and safety of parties to judicial proceedings, will also remain closed to the media.  

The bill provides for appointment of official representatives of court for work with the media. 

The bill also stipulates intensification of work of court’s official websites.