Conference on Courts and Communications

The Hungarian National Office for the Judiciary has organised the international Conference on Courts and Communication in Budapest 9 times from 2013 to 2019 with over 600 participants from 25 European countries. Each conference was dedicated to a different topic of the complex issues of courts and communication with national and international experts renowned in the actual topic. Here you can find the lectures and programmes of the past conferences.


Courts and Communication 2013


Relationship between publicity and the courts
Dr. Attila Péterfalvi President, Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information

Restrictions on reporting criminal proceedings in England and Wales
Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle, Senior District Judge, Chief Magistrate for England and Wales

Out of the ivory tower. Challenges to the press work of the judiciary in Germany
Ingrid Kaps Judge, Spokesperson, Court of Munich

Data Protection in the Judiciary: the Challenges for a Modern Management
Giovanni Buttarelli Assistant European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)

Public access to judicial proceedings: An American perspective
Adam Liptak Supreme Court Correspondent, The New York Times

The Emerging Questions of the Current Hungarian Regulation
Dr. Attila Harangozó President, Szeged Regional Court of Appeal




Workshop 1 - Data management with regard tp judicial activity

Working group I.

Moderator: Dr. Judit Bayer

Assistant Judge: Dr. Mercédesz Kádár

Secretary: Dr. Sándor Sipos

Each member of the group participated in the lively discussion around three topics:

1. What is the nature of cooperation between courts and the press, is it proactive or reactive, how satisfactory is it on a scale from 1-10 from the perspective of the judiciary? What are the cooperation’s benefits and problems? Each participants gave his or her opinion and shared their experience, and we prepared a spreadsheet about the results. Answers:

a. Most countries were reactive or mixed (5-6)

b. Benefits: transparency and trust;

c. Problems were manyfold, but mainly: sensationalism, assimetry, misinterpretation of judgements, limits of disclosure e.g. personal data, a mutual distrust.

2. Is it a good idea to select cases that a court would predigest for the press and issue a press release?

a. some participants opposed the idea of predigested press releases as such and listed its drawbacks:

i. pointing out a case raises the media’s attention;

ii. press attention before the final judgement puts a burden on the judge who works on the case;


iv. selection of some cases unnecessarily reveals the court’s opinion.

v. Separation of powers shall be kept in mind; media should do its own duty and courts also their own.

b. Other participants held that press releases can be beneficial to ensure that media transmits facts more precisely. They pointed out the following factors to keep in mind:

i. socially important decisions should be predigested in order to create better understanding;

ii. ideally a press release should be made only after the final verdict is delivered

iii. media is no more a gatekeeper; through means of social media directly the public can be addressed; In order to inform the public, courts can bypass the mediator.

iv. for the sake of case law an abstract could be drawn from decisions and published on website;

v. cases of local and of national interest may be different;

vi. aspects of selection should be social importance, rather than sensationalism;

3. The third big issue discussed by working group I. was the use of social media in the courtroom. Its the dangers were pointed out, benefits were not found.

a. influences witnesses:

b. can flame up a politically sensitive situation;c. may interfere with electronic system in the building;

d. the judge should have the power to decide on the spot depending on the circumstances.

However, manner of enforcement is techincally problematic:

e. jammers are not useful because judges are to use technology, as well as attorneys.

f. metal detection arches are expensive, as is personal who controls possession of the devices.



Quastionnaire and answers