I'll Let Television Cameras in to Film Court Cases, Says Falconer

Daily Mail (London), August 30, 2004 | Go to article overview

I'll Let Television Cameras in to Film Court Cases, Says Falconer


Byline: STEPHEN WRIGHT

TV CAMERAS are to be allowed into courts in England and Wales for the first time, the country's top law officer said yesterday.

Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer said a pilot scheme will run in the Court of Appeal later this year, although the results will not be shown in public.

If successful, the pilot in November and December could pave the way for more widespread use of cameras.

But Lord Falconer indicated that ministers do not favour including criminal cases. 'We will not have OJ Simpson style trials,' he said.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival, Lord Falconer said allowing court proceedings to be televised could lift the veil of secrecy surrounding justice.

He expands on his argument in an article in today's Guardian, in which he writes: ' We believe that in this modern media age, where television is the norm in everyone's lives, there is a case to be examined. That is what the Government is going to do.' Bizarrely, the piece appears under the name 'Charlie Falconer', with the fact that he holds one of the State's most historic offices given only in small type at the end.

The move to allow filming in court comes because ministers fear public perception is based on TV dramas such as Kavanagh QC and Rumpole.

Though almost all hearings are open to the public, few people ever attend.

The pilot was announced after months of discussions between the judiciary, officials and broadcasters. A number of judges are understood to have been against the move.

TV cameras will be allowed to film a limited number of criminal and civil appeals at the Court of Appeal in central London. …

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