Courts in England and Wales will be more publicly accessible than ever before when television broadcasting is introduced, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said today.
Plans to overturn the ban on filming and broadcasting from law courts were yesterday unveiled as part of the Queen’s Speech and will form part of the Crime and Courts Bill announced today.
Once the legal changes have been made broadcasting will be introduced initially at the Court of Appeal, where filming will be permitted of opening and closing legal arguments made by lawyers and the judgements handed down.
The Government will later look to allow filming at the Crown Court - but of judges’ sentencing remarks only. No victims, witnesses, offenders and jurors would be filmed.
Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said:
‘We are bringing the concept of open justice into the modern age and in doing so we will make the courts more accessible to the public than ever before.
‘People have always had the right to go to watch proceedings in courts but in reality very few actually do.
‘By allowing broadcasting from courts we are now enabling many members of the public to see, for the first time, court proceedings as they happen.’
Read details of the proposals for broadcasting selected court proceedings.