Televising proceedings – Court of Appeal

Broadcasters were allowed into the Court of Appeal, the second most senior court in the English legal system, for the first time last week.

Filming has been banned in UK courts (with the exception of the UK Supreme Court, established in 2009), since the Criminal Justice Act 1925. Earlier this year, the Crime and Courts Act 2013 repealed sections of the Criminal Justice Act 1925 that banned filming court proceedings.

Broadcasting will be permitted for criminal and civil cases, with a 70-second time delay on the live-feed to ensure legal safeguards. A short pause button can be used to screen offensive language and give judges enough time to signal if something should not be aired.

Filming will show legal arguments and the final judgment, but the cameras will only focus on lawyers and judges rather than defendants, witnesses and members of the public.

The Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas said:

‘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.”

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One comment

  1. This maybe a good recipe for accountability, probity and good judgement, however, I’m just wondering if it would not also be either exposing lawyers and judges to public ridicule or simply advertising their professional capabilities (free of charge)!

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