Written 16th May 2012 by Olliers Solicitors

Television cameras are to be allowed into British Courts for the first time in history under a move understood to be announced in the Queens Speech in May.

Open Justice

The understanding behind the move is to aid the concept of “open justice” and demonstrate offenders are being punished, as well as allowing the public to engage with the justice system and gain a greater understanding.

It is believed that initially only strictly limited access will be granted, filming only the sentencing remarks and judge’s summing up in cases. A concern is whether the move would impede the quality of evidence given by lay witnesses potentially giving rise to theatrics.

It is due to be introduced in the Court of Appeal, before filtering down to Crown Court proceedings.

Whether the move will bring about a greater understanding of the British justice system or whether it ends up being a dramatic production and quite simply a new form of reality TV, remains to be seen.

Rachel Darlington

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