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How Much Should Journalists Pay for Violating Confidentiality of Juveniles

01.10.2007
subarib.gif“While public discussion of juvenile crimes, names, surnames, addresses or some other personal data of juveniles must not be announced because it shall damage the psychic of the accused and destroys his/her future life,” stated Sozar Subari, Georgian Public Defender.

“Protection of juvenile confidentiality,” a round table in Public Defender’s Office was dedicated to the issue and it aimed to discuss the problem with representatives of the governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as media sources. They spoke how confidentiality of juveniles should be protected when s/he is accused, suspected, condemned, victim, and witness or has some other status undefined by procedural legislation and is not in direct connection with the crime.

First meeting on the issue was held in July in the Public Defender’s Office. Recent facts of violating the confidentiality of juveniles made it necessary to regulate media activities under the law. Giga Giorgadze, deputy Public Defender, stated that it is necessary to introduce amendments to the Georgian Law on “Protection of Juveniles from Bad Influence” as well as to the Georgian Administrative Code.

According to the recommendations prepared by the Public Defender’s Office the Georgian Law on “protection of Juveniles from Bad Influence” Chapter III should be added with section “g” that will state the following: “Violation of juvenile’s confidentiality: announcing the name, surname, father’s name, address of juvenile or some other personal information by mass media or printed media, by internet or some other sources that will increase the chance to identify his/her personality. Face and voice-record of the juvenile should be hidden by special technique.”

According to the materials prepared by the Public Defender’s Office Chapter V should be added to the Georgian Law on “Protection of Juveniles from Bad Influence” that will regulate the protection of confidentiality. Essential part of the meeting was dedicated to the discussion of the chapter. Participants of the round table discussed how the privacy of the juvenile can be violated. According to the section 3 of the mentioned chapter,”confidentiality of the juvenile can be violated based on the demand of a parent, a guardian or a care-taker.’

As the meeting at the Public Defender’s Office demonstrated the section 3 will be formulated in the nearest future and their office will introduce the Parliament with final draft law.

The recommendations prepared by the Public Defender’s Office also estimated the amount of the fine that will be imposed on the people who violate the confidentiality. The amount of the fine is ranging from 5 000 lari to 50 000 lari.

Nino Tarkhnishvili   

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