Televising the Court of Appeal

31/10/2013

TV Cameras are being allowed into one of the highest courts in England and Wales, the Court of Appeal, after a partial uplift of a ban of cameras in court rooms.

The lifting of the ban will allow viewers to see Lawyer’s arguments and Judge’s comments, however defendants, victims and witnesses will be prevented from being shown. Live broadcasts will be available from five courtrooms of the Royal Courts of Justice, however only one court will be covered at a time. Recordings can be made in 13 further courtrooms, however the ban remains in place for Crown and Magistrates Courts. It is expected that coverage will be shown on BBC, ITV and Sky.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas welcomed the change, saying: “My fellow judges and I welcome the start of broadcasting from the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal has, of course, been open to the public and to journalists for a long time.

“The change in the law which is now coming into force will permit the recording and broadcasting of the proceedings of the Court of Appeal. This will help a wider audience to understand and see for themselves how the Court of Appeal goes about its work.”

Although it can be argued the public have had access to the courts for a long time, through the public gallery, the change allows for people who would not have usually considered attending Court or have difficulties doing so, to be able to get live and instant access from the comfort of their own homes. This should allow for a more transparent legal system and a greater understanding of the legal process, which in turn, will hopefully result in a greater public confidence in the legal system

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