December 10, AZERTAC
Ensuring, protecting and expanding human rights and freedoms are the highest goals of our state. Identification of this goal, development and realization of mechanisms for its implementation, creation of legal base in this area is connected with the name of the founder of our independent state, national leader Heydar Aliyev.
The cooperation of the judiciary with the media, which has a special role in ensuring human rights, is becoming increasingly important in modern times. The historic Decree on the abolition of censorship signed by the Great Leader in 1998 opened a new era for press development and the Azerbaijani press began to operate fully and freely. The policy has continued through the competence and sensitivity of President Ilham Aliyev, and the press has become one of the fastest-growing in the country with the use of information and communication technologies. Today, the country`s press plays an important role in building a modern information society, preserving and promoting national-moral values, and in the field of legal education.
The Ministry of Justice has always been committed to effective cooperation with the media, civil society institutions, with an emphasis on transparency, openness and public relations.
The Presidential Decree "On Deepening of the Reforms in the Judicial-Legal System" dated April 3, 2019 has assigned important tasks to the relevant authorities. As part of the implementation of the Decree, public hearings were held and relevant decisions were adopted on the initiative of the Chairman of the Council, Minister of Justice Fikrat Mammadov at the last meeting of the Judicial-Legal Council as a continuation of works on increase of public confidence in the judiciary, increase of transparency in the judiciary, on notification of the public.
In connection with the International Day of Human Rights - December 10, the Ministry of Justice jointly with the Judicial-Legal Council and the Azerbaijani Press Council held a meeting with Mass Media on "Human Rights Protection in the plane of media."
AZERTAC states that, the meeting was attended by the leadership and employees of relevant bodies of the Ministry of Justice, the Judicial-Legal Council and Azerbaijan Press Council, representatives of civil society institutions, numerous media leaders and journalists.
Speaking at the International Day of Human Rights, Aynur Sabitova, Chief of the Human Rights and Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Justice, highlighted the importance of the event held on the International Day of Human Rights. She said that in our country, adhering to universal values such as democracy and human rights, social progress, national leader Heydar Aliyev has proclaimed human rights as the supreme goal of our state and important steps have been taken in this direction. She said that, continuous measures are being taken aimed at the effective protection of human rights and freedoms and the development of civil society under the leadership of the President Ilham Aliyev, effective cooperation with reputable international organizations is made in this area, as well as the implementation of international commitments by our republic joining more than 50 international documents is always in the focus.
The chief of the department highlighted the exceptional role of the judiciary in reliable provision of human rights, noting the allocation of official speaker-judges responsible for media relations in the courts. She said that the purpose of the meeting was to get acquainted with these judges and to discuss the issues of expanding cooperation between the courts and the media, providing regular, comprehensive and accurate information about the judicial activity.
Mushfig Alasgarli, the Deputy Chairman of the Azerbaijani Press Council, said that, he was always interested in coverage of the media`s activities and litigations. It was noted that, the Code of Ethics for Journalists provides an important basis for the objective and impartial work of the press in this area. M.Alasgarli said that, the Ministry of Justice attaches great importance to the establishment of active cooperation with Mass media and fruitful cooperation in this area is a good example of this.
Elchin Gasimov, the chief of the Organization and Supervision General Department of the Ministry of Justice, said that the main task of the courts is to protect human and civil rights and freedoms. In some years the number of cases in the courts has reached half a million, and these cases cover about a million people. Emphasizing that a stability indication of judicial decisions in Azerbaijan is about 90%, E. Gasimov spoke about the legislative, institutional and practical works on the implementation of the Presidential Decree "On Deepening of the Reforms in the Judicial-Legal System" of April 3, 2019, noted that the events were widely covered by the media. He stressed the importance of meetings with media representatives to enhance the prestige of the courts and ensure transparency.
Javid Huseynov, Head of the Office of the Judicial-Legal Council, said that the Decree of the President of the country of April 3, 2019 serves to deepen the reforms in the judicial system, noting that the provision of the independence of judges in the Judicial Council, establishment of a "hot line" for eliminating intervention and other negative cases in the judiciary, regular monitoring of the courts` activities, and the beginning of direct citizen appeals in the courts was aimed at ensuring the protection of human rights. He noted that proper relations with the media are very important in enhancing public confidence in the judiciary, and it is relevant in other countries as well. In this regard, last year the European Court of Human Rights adopted an important document to strengthen the interaction of judges with the media. This issue was discussed at a meeting of the Judicial-Legal Council and initially one judge was identified in the courts in Baku, Sumgayit cities and Absheron region for working with a media, as well as one officer in the Council itself. Those persons were introduced to the media at the event.
Hikmat Babaoghlu, editor-in-chief of the “New Azerbaijan” newspaper, deputy of Milli Mejlis emphasized the importance of the event in terms of promoting people`s awareness of their rights. According to the Constitution, saying that, the full independence of courts in our country is fully ensured, H.Babaoghlu stressed the need for judges and prominent lawyers to regularly address the press in terms of enhancing the prestige of the courts, developing effective cooperation with the media, as well as informing citizens about the activities of the courts. H.Babaoghlu stressed the importance of appointment of judges in the courts from the point of view of involving the media in the judicial development process in Azerbaijan.
Vugar Rahimzada, the editor-in-chief of the “Iki Sahil” newspaper, praised the relations of the Ministry of Justice with media, noting the importance of establishing these relationships with judges, highlighted that socialization of the courts` activities put important duties to the media. Referring to the importance of judicial and legal reforms in Azerbaijan in recent years, V. Rahimzada said that the media also showed an interest in ensuring that the information on these reforms was presented to the public in a fair and prompt manner.
Bahruz Guliyev, head of the SAS Media Group, said the event was particularly important for the International Day of Human Rights, noting that a democratic legal state had been established in the country following the return of national leader Heydar Aliyev to the country, establishment of reliable protection mechanisms for human rights, and said that we need to strengthen our state by uniting around the President Ilham Aliyev. He emphasized the great public interest in the activities of the judiciary and law enforcement agencies whose main task is to ensure human rights, noting that the establishment of cooperation with the media is the next stage of reforms in the judicial sphere.
Elchin Mirzabayli - Editor-in-Chief of the “Xalq Jebhesi” Newspaper, Member of the Board of Press Council, Aydin Guliyev - Editor-in-Chief of the Baku-Khabar Newspaper, Azer Hasrat, Member of the Board of Press Council, Aladdin Jafarov – chairman of the Union of Court Judges Association, civil society representatives Saadat Bananyarli, Alimammad Nuriyev, Ahmad Abbasbayli and others made offers on establishment of a mechanism of official`s activity for media responsible for court cases, objective and impartial coverage of activities by media without interfering in the proceedings, provision of more frequent public access to the media on issues of public interest, organization of relevant trainings and seminars for judges and journalists and on the other matters.