In the past year the Center worked on more than 50 cases in full range of services – from legal counseling to representing journalists at the court. For the first time in Croatian legal history the Croatian Journalists' Association appeared at court procedures as „court friendly“ (amicus curiae) thanks to the Center“, said Saša Leković, the CJA president.
„I think that the Center for Protection of Freedom of Expression has completely met the expectations we in the CJA had. I want to bring to the attention that it is a unique case that more than 30 lawyers from all around the country work for a journalists' association on cases of journalists incriminated for doing their work. Among these lawyers are even some University teachers ready to assist in organizing panels and other discussions on different topics“, explained Leković.
In its first year the Center represented pro bono, among others, journalists in 2 criminal cases, 1 case related to working right protection and did counseling in 4 criminal cases. It also provided counseling for 3 claims for correcting wrong information, in 2 questions related to systematization of working positions and 2 more – one related to product placement and other to access to information right.
As for plans for the second year of the Center Leković announced its work on proposals for changes in the sector of media legislation, freedom of expression and journalists' rights initiated by the CJA. Even more, the Center will go on organizing meetings with topics relevant to freedom of expression and providing law assistance to the CJA members.
These services are open to all CJA members on personal request as well as to non-member journalists if CJA’s body authorizes the claim. New coordinator is MS Katarina Oguić lawyer; she replaced former coordinator MS Iva Kuštrak, Zagreb University Law School.
„Given good results in its first year we hope to get financial support from various sources“, said Leković.