Ban on filming in law courts to be overturned !

  Autoschediastic 14:39 06 Sep 2011

Now this should be intresting, i remember the House of Commons when that was just on radio, its all about improving the public understanding of the justice system but also to see what really happens in the courts. this will be an intresting event but i doubt serious crimes would ever be shown?

Whats your views on it?

  Graphicool1 15:22 06 Sep 2011

Two things spring to mind...

(1) - All those court artists will be out of a job

(2) - Are we going to have a British 'Judge Judy'?

  wiz-king 15:22 06 Sep 2011

I believe it will only be the sentencing, to protect witnesses etc.

  Forum Editor 16:26 06 Sep 2011

This hasn't been finally decided. The government is considering the whole subject of filming in criminal courts, and at the moment there isn't even a general agreement on the principle, let alone a decision about actual filming.

There are some major ethical issues to be considered, and these things take time. If it happens at all the filming would probably be restricted to judges' summing up and sentencing - we won't be seeing the verdicts announced.

  sunnystaines 17:28 06 Sep 2011

most court cases are very boring to watch

  morddwyd 20:19 06 Sep 2011

It's been allowed in Scotland for nearly twenty years.

Producers don't seem to be falling over themselves to show much though.

Even al-Megrahi's trial only got minimal coverage.

  Condom 21:09 06 Sep 2011

When I did my Law in Scotland I used to attend courtroom trials as part of the background and Sunnystaines is absolutely right in saying that most court cases are pretty boring to watch. I can however see no harm in televising cases as everyone has the right to watch court cases if they so wish. It is perfectly true that some people might get the wrong impression if they don't see the whole trial but fortunately it is the 12 or 15 people in the Jury which count. not those watching on TV. and they have to see the whole trial.

We had the same arguments about playing to the "gallery" when the Houses Of Parliament were first televised but the speaker has kept this in check as would any good judge. Ken Clarke will need to change the Law before any of his thoughts can come to fruition as this is not something he can do by decree so don't anyone start holding their brethe in anticipation.

  Simsy 08:00 12 Sep 2011

Perhaps pertinent...

is the fact that for Radio Broadcasting of Parliamentary procedures, no editing of recorded audio is allowed to be broadcast...

That is to say bits of audio can't just be joined together; There has to be something between them to indicate that it's not a contiguous bit of speech. This is normally a link of some kind from the presenter, such as "and he also said", or "he continued", but it may be a obvious fade down to silence and back up again. (The restriction doesn't apply to things like programme title sequences.)

The purpose is to prevent distortion of what was said in Parliament by editing.

The restrictions are somewhat more relaxed when it comes to television because the cutting of pictures provides a clue to the fact that editing has taken place.

I would think that similar considerations would apply to coverage of courts.

The most important thing is that no misunderstanding/misinterpretation should be brought to the public.



  Aitchbee 21:53 13 Sep 2011

Why not televise the criminals when they are in Jail.What rights have they got? Forget about courts.It might make the perpetrators of crime think twice...before their 'mugs' are displayed all over the land.

  Forum Editor 23:16 13 Sep 2011

"Why not televise the criminals when they are in Jail.What rights have they got?"

They have the right to serve their sentence with a degree of privacy. The fact that someone has been convicted of a criminal offence doesn't mean that they lose their right to privacy. Are you seriously suggesting that someone who is serving a sentence for say, fraud, should be televised whilst in prison, or that anyone would be remotely interested in watching?

  WhiteTruckMan 23:41 13 Sep 2011

I think you might be able to make a case for webcams in communal areas provided security wasn't compromised. After all, not only should justice be done, it should be seen to be done.

Would it be any different from all the webcams showing people in public places around the world?


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