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TV Cameras To Be Allowed To Film In Court

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TV Cameras To Be Allowed To Film In Court

Post  chrissie on Thu 29 Mar - 15:11

I'm in favour of this. A move towards more transparency.


UK, Wednesday March 28, 2012

The Queen is to announce that television cameras will be allowed in Britain's courts, Sky News has learnt.
A senior Whitehall source confirmed legislation to allow cameras into courts in England and Wales would be included in the Queen's Speech at the opening of the 2012-2013 parliamentary session on May 9.

The decision to allow cameras in court follows a long campaign by broadcasters including Sky News.

Responding to the confirmation of allowing cameras into court, Head of Sky News John Ryley said: "This is a great step forward for transparency and democracy.

"We're delighted that after many years of campaigning from Sky News we now have the opportunity to work with the judiciary to ensure justice can be seen to be done."

Whitehall sources said the plan would initially allow filming to take place in the Court of Appeal.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer told Sky's Adam Boulton: "My own view is that cameras in court are a good idea and I don’t object to a limited start.

"People need to know what we are doing, why were are doing and I think that can be done using the television just as much as written statements."

Broadcast facilities have already been allowed into the Supreme Court

The Government has been determined to stop trials becoming US-style spectacles.

If broadcasts are widened to include Crown Court prosecutions, the identities of victims, jury members and witnesses would be protected.

Photography has been banned in UK courtrooms under section 41 of the Criminal Justice Act of 1925. There is no prohibition on filming in Scottish courts.

The recently-created Supreme Court, which hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance, has allowed broadcast facilities to help legal professionals, students and members of the public.

The innovation of allowing cameras in court is seen as a way to help remove the mystique of courtrooms.

Last month, in a letter to Britain's political party leaders, broadcasters argued: "The ability to witness justice in action, in the public gallery, is a fundamental freedom.

"Television will make the public gallery open to all."

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