A 2-day training-seminar dedicated to discussion of the European standards in mass media, experience exchange in the field of considering appeals connected with mass media in the court organs of Europe started its work on July 9 at the International Press Center. Experts of the Council of Europe, judges of numerous court instances, lawyers, representatives of the Milli Majlis (Azerbaijan Parliament), journalist organizations are taking part in the seminar organized by the President’s Office in associate with the Council of Europe. In his remarks, head of the socio-political department of the President Office, Ali Hasanov pointed out particular importance of the interactions with journalists and freedom of speech for recent ten years, after Azerbaijan gained independence, in conditions of establishing a society based on democratic and political pluralism, integration into the European community.Speaking on democratic policy for establishment of a legal state, pursued by the President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, Mr. Ali Hasanov stressed priority of the human rights in this process that should be protected by a court instances. The seminar held for the first time on this topic in the context of values of world democracy, particularly, European Human Rights Convention should discuss the rights and duties of mass media, overstepping sometimes the limits, he said. Expert of Press Department of the Direction of the Council of Europe for human rights, Yurgen Sibotari pointed out importance of independent press, respect shown by journalists towards human rights, as an integral part of a democratic society. Chairperson of the seminar, Chairman of the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan Republic, Ms. Sudaba Hasanova noted that all draft laws have been passed in Azerbaijan between 1995 and 2001 had been worked out with the participation of the CE experts. Further, Mr. Fuad Alasgarov, head of the law enforcement department of the President Office pointed out in his speech the importance of court’s adherence to the regulations of the European Human Rights Convention. On the first day of the workshop, a CE expert, doctor of state law of the Lillie University, Vincent Couscirat-Couster made a report on “10th Article during trials on cases of slander, insult, critics against public figures, rousing discords”. Member of Parliament Rizvan Jabiyev, giving examples of law suits related to public figures and journalists in the West, said that legislature of Azerbaijan in this field should be improved.Further, the CE experts responded the questions of the participants.

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