Chancellor Lets Cameras into Handful of Courts

Article excerpt

Television cameras will be allowed into English and Welsh courts for the first time in November.

Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer has revealed plans for a pilot at criminal and civil appeals, alongside public consultation on the proposals.

The move, announced at Edinburgh International Television Festival, was welcomed by media chiefs, but many urged the Government to go further and allow cameras into criminal trials.

However, Lord Falconer said he believed this could make victims and witnesses more nervous.

TV cameras will be allowed to film a limited number of hearings at the Court of Appeal, sitting at the Strand, London, in November and December. Defendants, victims, witnesses and jurors will not be filmed and footage will not be broadcast, but used only for evaluation.

Broadcasters will concentrate on cases of public interest, if an application is approved by the judge.

Lord Falconer said: "The issue of reporting and the courts is governed by legislation dating back to 1925 ( a very different world to today. …