TV cameras to film in criminal courts for the first time in the UK

Broadcast news channels are now able to air judges sentencing remarks in crowd courts across England and Wales. Victims, witnesses and jurors will not be shown in any broadcast footage. The footage will broadcast judges summarising the facts of the case in question and explain the reasons for the sentence they have given the defendant.

The Lord Chancellor Dominic Raab has used the Crown Court Recording and Broadcasting Order 2020 to enable broadcasters to apply for permission to film and broadcast sentencing remarks, following a successful pilot scheme.

The Chancellor stated that opening up the courtroom to cameras to film sentencing of some of the country’s most serious offenders will “improve transparency and reinforce confidence in the justice system.” The new order will give the public access to seeing justice served, giving a better understanding of complex decisions judges have to make.

The new order has been welcomed by broadcasters and the Law Society. It has been praised for becoming a valuable tool for educating the public alongside raising awareness of what the rule of law means and why it is important.

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