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Disclosure of Information and Media Coverage of Criminal Proceedings

A key factor affecting the personal and social life of suspects and accused is the media coverage of their cases. Inappropriate media exposure, particularly at the beginning of proceedings, affect the presumption of innocence creating negative public attitudes towards defendants (and their families) before their guilt has been established by the court. The presentation of defendants in the media is subject to various studies, policies and regulations. However, the increased accessibility of technologies has changed the way information is shared, creating new challenges that are not addressed by the existing instruments. Once published, the news reach large audiences easily and quickly, remain accessible for a long time, and facilitate the identification of defendants.

The present report is part of a series of country studies exploring the approaches used in four European Union Member States - Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, and Spain to regulate the media coverage of criminal proceedings and the disclosure of information about suspects and accused persons. The reports give an overview of the legal rules governing the public disclosure of information during criminal proceedings and examine the communication between criminal justice authorities and the media, including the access of the media to pending criminal cases. Another focus of the reports is the media coverage of ongoing criminal cases, the binding and non-binding rules governing the work of journalists when reporting on criminal proceedings, and the remedies available to suspects and accused persons to protect their rights or seek compensation for damages when these rules are not observed.


This report was funded by the European Union’s Justice Programme (2014-2020).


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