Supreme Court Affirms Journalist Rights to Attend Trials

MOSCOW, December 13 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Supreme Court adopted a resolution at a plenary session on Thursday affirming the right of journalists to attend any public trial, make audio recordings and conduct online broadcasting without having to seek any permission.

Permission is only needed to take photos and video footage.

The resolution obligates judges to set out the specific reasons why a trial is to be closed to the public, Russia’s top court said.

Serious procedural violations, specifically in respect to the openness of a trial, will lead to the reversal of a court ruling even if it is legally valid, it said.

The Supreme Court’s resolution also said journalists should be provided sufficient space in the courtroom and prohibited court officials from denying journalists access to a trial even if they have not been formally accredited to it.

It also recommends that court bailiffs take no action to remove journalists from the courtroom until the presiding judge rules on whether a trial is open or closed to the public.

The document is to go into force before the end of this week.


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