Broadcasters will be allowed to film in courts for the first time, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said today.
Mr Clarke said the current ban on filming in law courts would be overturned to improve people’s understanding of the justice system as part of unprecedented plans to improve transparency.
He said: ‘The Government and judiciary are determined to improve transparency and public understanding of court through allowing court broadcasting. We believe television has a role in increasing public confidence in the justice system.’
Broadcasting will initially be allowed from the Court of Appeal, and Government will look to expand to the Crown Court later. All changes will be worked out in close consultation with the judiciary.
Filming will be of judges’ summary remarks only - victims, witnesses, offenders and jurors will not be filmed.
Filming and broadcasting in court is currently banned under two Acts of Parliament and new legislation will need to be passed to allow cameras into the courts.
In addition to allowing broadcasting, Mr Clarke announced that an unprecedented level of information about the performance of courts will be published in future to allow everyone to see how their local courts are working. This includes time taken for cases to be processed and details on how many trials were ineffective.