TV Cameras in UK Courts

The UK Justice minister has just announced a pilot scheme for the introduction of cameras into criminal courts.

The project will run for 3 months in eight UK cities.

Cameras will film only the judge, and will be confined to sentencing remarks. The purpose is to “.. allow the public to see and hear the judge’s decision in their own words.”

The footage will not be broadcast live.

Leading British barrister Helena Kennedy Q.C. regards cameras in court as a threat to justice, evolving out of base commercial imperatives that are not concerned about justice or the potential impact on witnesses, jurors and even lawyers and judges. She has written “… a corporate agenda is being covered by a veneer of transparency and openness.” She believes, “Television is constantly looking for new terrain to inhabit”. Despite initial tight judicial control, the medium is a “…voracious beast that will keep seeking bloodier meat.”



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