Web resource "Anonymisation of Judicial and Prosecutorial Acts: Between Personal Data Protection and Public Interest"
Themes: Judiciary and Access to JusticeGovernance and Service DeliveryParticipatory Decision MakingTransparency and Open GovernmentInstitutional Communication

Trend on anonymisation of court decisions and prosecution acts - or concealing identity of individual participants in criminal proceedings - caused a wave of public discussion in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Some see anonymisation as violation of the principle of transparency and openness of justice, violation of the right to free access to information, the introduction of censorship in the media coverage, and even as an act of concealment of historical facts. Others, however, see the anonymisation as the only way to protect the right to privacy and personal data of the parties in the criminal proceedings.

Web resource was prepeared as a part of the project “Protecting Information vs. Protecting Public Interest: Towards an Optimum Balance between Public Interest and the Protection of Information in Criminal Law Proceedings in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, implemented by Center for Social Research Analitika and the Association of Prosecutors of Federation BiH, and supported by the USAID Justice Sector Development Project II (JSDP II). This web resource offers an overview of the international instruments and legal documents that are relevant for understanding the issue of establishing balance between the protection of personal data in criminal proceedings on one hand and interests of the justice, its transparency and the public on the other. In addition, the web resource provides various manuals, studies, analyzes, reports, articles and guidelines written in the local and / or foreign languages, with aim to provide support to future researchers in this field.

Web resource is divided into the following sections:

1.    Institutions and Organizations
2.    International Documents
3.    Legislations in BiH
4.    Literature

1.    Institutions and Organizations

This section offers an overview of some key international organisations and institutions relevant for this field,  as well as links to the corresponding web presentations of these institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

1.1.    International Organisations and Institutions

-    Court of Justice of the European Union. Evropski sud pravde.

-    European Court of Human Rights. Evropski sud za ljudska prava.

-    European Data Protection Supervisor. Evropski supervizor za zaštitu podataka.

-    European Network and Information Security Agency – ENISA.

-    European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Agencija Evropske unije za temeljna prava.

-    Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE). Konsultativno vijeće evropskih sudija.

-    Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE). Konsultativno vijeće evropskih tužilaca.

1.2.    Organizations / Institutions in BiH

-    Agencija za zaštitu ličnih podataka BiH

-    Centar za sudsku dokumentaciju

-    Institucija ombudsmana za ljudska prava BiH

-    Ured za odnose s javnošću Suda Bosne i Hercegovine

-    Tužilaštvo Bosne i Hercegovine

-    Visoko sudsko i tužilačko vijeće

2.    International Documents

This section offers an overview of some legal instruments and regulations adopted at the international level, which are relevant for understanding the issue of personal data protection on one hand, and the right to free access to information, on the other.

The documents are listed according to international organizations where they were formed:

2.1. United Nations
2.2. Council of Europe
2.3. European Union

Documents under the corresponding section are presented chronologically.

2.1.    United Nations

-    23.3.1976.
Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

-    29.11.1985.
Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power.

-    15.12.1989.
Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

-    1.4.1998.
Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters.

-    2007.
Human Rights Committee, General Comment No. 32, Article 14: Right to equality before courts and tribunals and to a fair trial, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/GC/32 (2007).

2.2.    Council of Europe

-    4.11.1950.
European Convention on Human Rights.

Evropska konvencija o zaštiti ljudskih prava i osnovnih sloboda. (prijevod)

-    28.1.1981.
Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data.

Konvencija o zaštiti lica u pogledu automatske obrade ličnih podataka.

-    25.11.1981.
Recommendation No. R (81) 19 Of the Committee of Ministers to Member States on the access to information held by public authorities.

Preporuka br. R (81) 19 Odbora ministara Vijeća Europe državama članicama, o dostupnosti informacija koje posjeduju javne vlasti.

-    9.9.1991.
Recommendation no. (91) 10 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States on the communication to third parties of personal data held by public bodies.

Preporuka br. R (91) 10 Odbora ministara Vijeća Europe državama članicama o priopćavanju osobnih podataka koje posjeduju javna tijela trećim osobama.

-    10.7.2003.
Recommendation Rec (2003)13of the Committee of Ministers to member stateson the provision of information through the mediain relation to criminal proceedings.

Preporuka Komiteta ministara Vijeća Evrope Rec (2003)13 o pružanju informacija o krivičnim postupcima putem medija.

-    12.2.2004.
Declaration on freedom of political debate in the media.

Deklaracija o slobodi političke debate u medijima.

-    18.06.2009.
Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents(Konvencija Vijeća Europe o pristupu službenim dokumentima

2.3.    European Union

-    24.10.1995.
Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data.

-    20.4.2011.
Advice paper on special categories of data („sensitive data“). Article 29.

-    25.1.2012.
Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation).

-    29.9.2012.
Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice.

3.    Legislations in BiH

This section covers the legal framework and other regulations in BiH which in broad sense refers to personal data protection of prosecuted persons, victims or witnesses, as well as the work of institutions responsible for the methods of presenting information to the public.

Section is divided into two sub sections:

3.1. Legal framework
3.2. By-laws

3.1.    Legal framework

-    „Zakon o Sudu BiH“. Službeni glasnik BiH 29/00, 16/02, 24/02, 3/03, 37/03, 42/03, 4/04, 9/04, 35/04, 61/04 i 32/07.

-    „Zakon o sudovima FBiH“. Službeni glasnik FBiH broj 38/05.

-    „Zakon o sudovima RS“. Službeni glasnik RS broj 37/12.

-    „Zakon o sudovima Brčko Distrikta BiH“. Službeni glasnik BD BIH broj 4/00.

-    „Zakon o zaštiti svjedoka pod prijetnjom i ugroženih svjedoka“. Službeni glasnik BiH 3/03, 21/03, 61/04 i 55/05.

-    „Zakon o zaštiti svjedoka pod prijetnjom i ugroženih svjedoka FBiH“. Službene novine FBiH broj 36/2003.

-    „Zakon o zaštiti svjedoka u krivičnom postupku RS“. Službeni glasnik RS 21/2003, 61/2004 i55/2005.

-    „Zakon o zaštiti svjedoka pod prijetnjom i ugroženih svjedoka BD BiH“. Službeni glasnik BD BiH 11/2003 i 8/2007.

-    „Zakon o zaštiti ličnih podataka“. Službeni glasnik BiH broj 49/06.

-    „Zakon o slobodi pristupa informacijama BiH“. Službeni glasnik BiH 28/00, 45/06, 102/09 i 62/11.

-    „Zakon o slobodi pristupa informacijama Federacije BiH“. Službene novine FBiH 32/01 i 48/11.

-    „Zakon o slobodi pristupa informacijama RS“. Službeni glasnik RS broj 20/01.

-    „Zakon o slobodi pristupa informacijama Brčko Distrikta BiH“. Službeni glasnik BiH broj 28/00.

-    "Zakon o Tužilaštvu BiH“. Službeni glasnik BiH 24/02 i 42/03.

-    „Zakon o tužilaštvima Republike Srpske“. Službeni glasnik RS broj 55/02.

-    „Zakon o Tužilaštvu Brčko Distrikta BiH“. Službeni glasnik BD BiH 4/00, 1/01 i 5/01.

3.2.    By-laws

3.2.1.    The Court of BiH

-    „Pravilnik o ostvarivanju prava pristupa informacijama pod kontrolom suda i saradnji suda sa zajednicom“.
-    „Pravilnik o zaštiti svjedoka“.

-    „Upute o anomizaciji sudskih odluka, audio/video zapisa, ročišta i drugog informativnog sadržaja“.

4.    Literature

In order to support future research on the issue of personal data in the judicial and prosecutorial acts, this section provides an overview of relevant materials available in the local or foreign languages.

The Sources are divided  into the sections:

4.1.  Literature on BiH
4.2.  Other literature

4.1.    Literature on BiH

-    Agencija za zaštitu ličnih podataka u Bosni i Hercegovini. Izvještaj o zaštiti ličnih podataka u Bosni i Hercegovini za 2012. Sarajevo: Agencija za zaštitu ličnih podataka u Bosni i Hercegovini, 2013.

-    Human Rights Watch. Looking for Justice: The War Crimes Chamber in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2006). Human Rights Watch, 2006.

-    OSCE/OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Delivering justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina: An Overview of War Crimes Processing from 2005 to 2010. Sarajevo: OSCE/OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2011.

-    OSCE/OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Zaštita i podrška svjedoka u predmetima ratnih zločina u Bosni i Hercegovini: Prepreke i preporuke godinudana nakon usvajanja Državne strategije za rad na predmetima ratnih zločina. Izvještaj u sklopu Projekta za izgradnju kapaciteta i implementaciju naslijeđa. Sarajevo: OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2010.

-    Opservatorij ljudskih prava BiH. „Pravo na privatnost i zaštita ličnih podataka u BiH“.

-    Pajić, Damir. Zaštita osjetljivih svjedoka u krivičnom postupku. Zenica: ANALI Pravnog fakulteta Univerziteta u Zenici, s.a.

-    Sali Terzić, Sevima. Anomizacija ili cenzura sudskih odluka? Problemi sa Pravilnikom Suda BiH. Sarajevo: Fondacija Centar za javno pravo, 2012.

4.2.    Other literature

4.2.1.    Reports and Studies

-    Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE). On the relationship between prosecutors and media. Strasbourg: CCPE, 2013.

-    Darbishire, Helen. Proactive Transparency: The Future of the Right to Information? A Review of Standards, Challenges, and Opportunities. Washington: World Bank Institute, 2011.

-    European Network and Information Security Agency – ENISA. Study on data collection and storage in the EU. Heraklion: ENISA, 2012.

-    Gaebler, Halen. Criminal Records in the Digital Age: A Review of Current Practices and Recommendations for Reform in Texas. Texas: William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, 2013.

-    Judicial Commission of New South Wales. Media access to court records and exhibits. Sydney: Judicial Commission of New South Wales, s.a.

-    OSCE. Access to Court Decisions. A Legal Analysis of Relevant International and National Provisions. OSCE: Rule of Law Department, 2008.

-    Open Society Justice Initiative. Report on Access to Judicial Information. New York: Open Society Justice Initiative, 2009.

-    Puddephatt, Andrew. Exploringthe Role of Civil Society in the Formulation and Adoption of Access to Information Laws: The Cases of Bulgaria, India, Mexico, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Washington: World bank Institute, 2009.

-    Puddephatt, Andrew i Zausmer, Rebecca. Towards open and transparent government. International experiences and best practice. London: Global Partners and Associates, 2011.

-    Transparency and Accountability Initiative. Open Government Guide. Right to Information: Publish Core Information about Government on a Proactive Basis. London: Transparency and Accountability Initiative, 2013.

-    Transparency and Accountability Initiative. Right to information A guide to best practice in transparency, accountability and civic engagement across the public sector. London: Transparency and Accountability Initiative, 2011.

-    The Law Commission. Access to court records, Report 93. Wellington: The Law Commision, 2006.

-    U.S. Department of State. The Freedom of Information Act.Annual Report. Washington: U.S. Department of State. (kompilacija izvještaja)

4.2.2.    Guides and Guidelines

-    Attorney General's Office. Guidelines on the prosecutor’s role in applications for Witness Anonymity. London: Attorney General's Office, 2012.

-    Commonwealth of Massachusetts District Court Department of the Trial Court. A Guide to Public Access, Sealing &Expungement of District Court Records. Massachusetts: Administrative Office of the District Court, 2010.

-    Court of Appeal of Alberta. Public and Media Access Guide. Alberta: Court of Appeal of Alberta, 2013.

-    Judicial Council Court Technology Advisory Committee Roster. Open courts, electronic access to court records and privacy. Ottawa: Judicial Council Court, 2003.

-    Open Society Justice Initiative. Transparency and silence: a survey of access to information laws and practices in fourteen countries. New York: Open Society Justice Initiative, 2006.

-    Reagan, Robert Timothy. Sealing Court Records and Proceedings: A Pocket Guide. Washington: Federal Judicial Center, 2010.

-    Second Chance Alliance. Getting and Reading Criminal History Reports in Washington State. Washington: WSP, 2013.

-    The Courts Service. Data Protection General Policy. Dublin: The Courts Service, s.a.

-    The Crown Presecution Service. Witness protection and anonymity. Guide. London: CPS, s.a.

-    Transparency and Accountability Initiative. Open Government Guide. Right to Information: Publish Core Information about Government on a Proactive Basis. OGP, 2012.

4.2.3.    Articles

-    Ambrose, Meg Leta i Ausloos, Jef. The Right to be Forgotten Across the Pond. Journal of Information Policy 3, 2013, str. 1-23.

-    Baumer, David, Earp, Julia i Poindexter, John. "Internet privacy law: a comparison between the United States and the European Union“, Computers & Security, vol 23, 5, 2004, str. 400-412.

-    Bermann, Sol. "Privacy and Access to Public Records in the Digital Age". Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 62; Center for Interdisciplinary Law and Policy Studies Working Paper No. 40, 2006.

-    BIRN. „Žrtve u BiH traže imena počinilaca zločina“, 12.08.2013.

-    Callanan, Matthew D. "Protecting Unconvicted Criminal Defendants: Limiting Iowa’s Rights to Public Access in Search of Greater Protection for Those Defendants Whose Charges Do Not End in Convictions". Iowa Law Review, Vol. 98, 2013.

-    Christian, Gideon Emcee. "A New Approach to Data Security Breaches". Canadian Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 7, No. 1, str. 149-2009.

-    Duranti, Luciana. "From Digital Diplomatics to Digital Records Forensics". ARCHIVARIA 68, 2009, str. 39–66.

-    Gomes-Velez, Natalie. "Internet Access to Court Records - Balancing Public Access and Privacy“. Loyola Law Review, Volume 51, 2005.

-    Hazell, Robert i Worthy, Ben. "Assessing the performance of freedom of information". Government Information Quarterly 27, 2010, str. 352–359.

-    Hood, Christopher. "What happens when transparency meets blame-avoidance?", Public Managment Review 9:2, 2007, str. 191-210.

-    Jacobs, James B. “Mass incarceration and the proliferation of criminal records“. St. Thomas Law Review 3. str. 387-420.

-    Jacobs, James B. i Larrauri, Elena. "Are criminal convictions a public matter? The USA and Spain“.Punishment & Society 2012 14:3, str. 4-22.

-    Leith, Philip i McDonagh, Maeve. "New Technology and Researchers’ Access to Court and Tribunal Information: the need for European analysis ". SCRPTed, Volume 6, Issue 1, April 2009, str. 33-56.

-    McGoldrick, Dominic. "Developments in the Right to Be Forgotten", Human Rights Law Review 13:4, 2013, str. 761-776.

-    Morgenstern, Christine. „Judicial Rehabilitation in Germany - The Use of Criminal Records and the Removal of Recorded Convictions“, European Journal of Probation, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2011, str. 20-35.

-    Moslavac, B. „Zaštita žrtava prema Konvenciji Vijeća Evrope o suzbijanju trgovanja ljudima“.Hrvatski ljetopis za kazneno pravo i praksu, vol. 15, I/2008, str. 143-175.

-    Petö-Kujundžić, L. „Dijete kao svjedok“. Hrvatski ljetopis za kazneno pravo i praksu, vol. 11, 1/2004, str. 111-118.

-    Relly, J. E. i Sabharwal, M. "Perceptions of transparency of government policy making: a cross-national study ". Government Information Quarterly, 26(2), 2009, str. 148−157.

-    Salzmann, Victoria. "Are Public Records Really Public? The Collision Between the Right to Privacy and the Release of Public Court Records Over the Internet ", Baylor Law Review, vol 52:2, 2002, str. 355-379.

-    Tembeckjian, Robert H. "Judicial Disciplinary Hearings Should Be Open", Justice System Journal, vol. 28, 3, 2007, str. 419-424.

-    Winn, Peter A. "Online Court Records: Balancing Judicial Accountability and Privacy in an Age of Electronic Information ", Washington Law Review Association, str. 314-315.


This publication is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this report are the sole responsibility of Author and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.