Judges and prosecutors strenghtened their knowledge and skills in PR

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) organized, on 30 and 31 May 2019, in Podgorica, training on communication skills for judicial officials, within the framework of the Open Justice project, supported by the Ministry of Justice of the Government of Montenegro.

During the two-day intensive programme, 22 representatives of the judiciary, from various courts and prosecution offices, were improving their communication skills and knowledge, and also they were practicing presentations in front of the camera and had preparations for giving statements, with advices for specific situations on current affairs. The training was conducted by public relations experts, Miodrag Strugar and Eleonora Albijanic.

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Miodrag Strugar, CEO of the PR agency Strugar and Albijanic, emphasized that through this training, participants acquired basic knowledge on strategic and targeted communication with rules for public performance. ‘Judges and prosecutors have shown great interest and desire to improve their knowledge and skills in this field. Of course, two days were enough to learn the basics, but also to become more interested for further improvement. We believe that this will help the judiciary and the prosecution to efficiently communicate with the public and thereby further strengthen the trust of citizens in these institutions,’ assessed Strugar.

Spiro Pavicevic, judge of the Basic Court in Kotor, and one of the training participants, stated that the training met his expectations. ‘We filled gaps in our quite limited knowledge about this area and I consider that such training should be conducted more frequently, with less material for one occasion, in order to better master that material. We are a bit confused at this first training, because it is not the same as the professional seminars we participated in vefore, but the second day we already feel more confident and successful than the first day,’ he added.

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Training participants agree that the judiciary must communicate with the public more frequently and more precisely, and they demonstrayed high level of motivation to improve their skills in this area, with the note that this requires continuous programmes and a lot of practical exercises.

The CCE, within the framework of the Open Justice project, recently conducted and published public opinion survey on the transparency of the judiciary, and the data from the reseach indicate the need for more frequent and more understandable communication of judiciary with public.

The Open Justice project aims to contribute to increase of public trust in judicial institutions in Montenegro and to improve cooperation between judicial institutions and media. In addition, the project aims to increase transparency of the work of judiciary, as well as respect of the provisions of the code of ethics by judicial officials.

Mira Popovic, Programme Associate