Old Bailey LIVE on TV: Government plans to screen murder trials to show justice done

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Old Bailey LIVE on TV: Government plans to screen murder trials to show justice done

Post  candyfloss on Sun 20 Mar 2016, 10:55 am

Old Bailey LIVE on TV: Government plans to screen murder trials to show justice done


A pilot scheme will see the sentencing remarks of judges at courts, including the Old Bailey, being filmed. It is then hoped to widen the scheme, with the aim of screening the trials on television.

Other countries such as the United States, which televised the OJ Simpson trial in 1994 and South Africa, which allowed the live filming of the Oscar Pistorious trial in 2014, have been able to broadcast criminal cases for years.



Until now, however, only cases heard by the Court of Appeal have been televised in England and Wales following a landmark decision to overturn a ban on filming in courtrooms in 2013.

The new proposals are being put before Parliament tomorrow. Although the films in the pilot scheme will not be broadcast, it will pave the way for the most high-profile cases, such as the Jill Dando case or the Soham schoolgirl murders, being routinely televised.

News organisations already operating in the Court of Appeal, including the BBC, Sky, ITN and the Press Association, have agreed to support the pilot at no cost to the taxpayer.

Justice Minister Shailesh Vara said: “My hope is that this will lead to more openness and transparency about what happens in our courts.

“Broadcasting sentencing remarks would allow the public to see and hear the judge’s decision in their own words.”


Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd said: “I am interested to see how this pilot progresses and will work with the Ministry of Justice to assess the impact of cameras in court.”



My hope is that this will lead to more openness and transparency about what happens in our courts




The pilot will take place at the Old Bailey and Southwark Crown Court in London and at courts in Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds and Cardiff. Cameras will be able to film nominated senior judges but the filming of court staff, victims, witnesses, defendants and lawyers will remain prohibited.

Safeguards will be put in place to make sure victims continue to be supported and the administration of justice is not affected. Cases previously heard at the Old Bailey include that of the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, and Soham murderer Ian Huntley and his girlfriend Maxine Carr.

Southwark Crown Court has hosted the Rolf Harris sex abuse trial, while Bristol Crown Court recently heard the trial of the killer of teenager Becky Watts. Broadcasters have been pressing the Government for greater access to courts since Labour rejected their calls when it was in power.

David Cameron wants the public to see criminals face justice as the nation loses patience with soft sentencing. The idea has been backed by criminal justice campaigners, including Baroness Newlove, who experienced the court system first-hand during the trial of her husband Gary’s killers.


She said it would make people more aware of the justice system. Former director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer has also backed the move. He said the heightened interest in trials televised abroad, such as that of Amanda Knox in Italy, had strengthened the argument for cameras in courts.

“The case for cameras in courts really gets stronger and stronger,” he said.

“The principle is open justice and there’s a disconnect between the fact we’ve got a right to walk into any court but it can’t be screened. Most people don’t have the time to go to court and therefore they don’t know what’s going on in courts.

“I suspect in most households the legal system in Italy because of the Amanda Knox case, in South Africa because of the Pistorius case and in the US because of OJ Simpson are better known than their own legal systems.”

The OJ Simpson verdict was broadcast live in October 1995. More than 150 million Americans – 57 per cent of the country – tuned in to see him found not guilty of double murder.

The pilot scheme, which will run for three months, will begin as soon as possible once the legislation has been passed.

Crown courts are already open to the press and public but filming and recording are prohibited under section 41 of the Criminal Justice Act 1925 and the Contempt of Court Act 1981.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/653984/High-profile-Old-Bailey-cases-broadcast-live-TV-government




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Re: Old Bailey LIVE on TV: Government plans to screen murder trials to show justice done

Post  candyfloss on Sun 20 Mar 2016, 10:56 am

Interesting. Hope this goes through..

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Re: Old Bailey LIVE on TV: Government plans to screen murder trials to show justice done

Post  chirpyinsect on Sun 20 Mar 2016, 10:57 am

If a certain trial was ever to come about and was televised, I think my household would grind to a halt.

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Re: Old Bailey LIVE on TV: Government plans to screen murder trials to show justice done

Post  dogs don't lie on Sun 20 Mar 2016, 11:56 am

I'd love to see this, followed OPs all the way, very gripping.

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Re: Old Bailey LIVE on TV: Government plans to screen murder trials to show justice done

Post  Châtelaine on Sun 20 Mar 2016, 12:17 pm

chirpyinsect wrote:If a certain trial was ever to come about and was televised, I think my household would grind to a halt.
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