There are no legal grounds for online trials for the time being, says State Public Prosecutor Ljubomir Joveski.
“The current legislation does not provide for online trials in high-profile crimes. This requires amendments to the procedural legislation and its adoption in Parliament by a two-thirds majority. A working group is currently drafting the new Law on Criminal Procedure but I don’t know if these aspects will be embedded in the legislation. I am not sure whether certain issues could be regulated through bylaws, because the criminal procedure must ensure the defendant’s rights,” says Joveski.
He refers to the issues of order in court and the defendant’s online participation as dilemmas to consider during online trials.
“There are many open issues that cannot be settled even with the existing solutions. How can we be sure there are no other persons in the room who give suggestions on certain questions?” notes Joveski.
“The best solution would an open court or a larger courtroom. Or open-air trials, another option is to have screens between the people or we should simply act according to the new situation,” said Joveski.