UK court of appeal hits TV screens

| 31/10/2013

(BBC): TV cameras have been allowed to record proceedings in one of the highest courts in England and Wales. Filming is being allowed at the Court of Appeal for the first time, after a partial lifting of the long-standing ban on cameras in court. Senior judges and major broadcasters welcomed the move, which the head of BBC News said was a "landmark moment". Cameras are not yet allowed in crown courts and magistrates' courts. Live broadcasting is possible in five courtrooms at the Royal Courts of Justice in London after years of campaigning by the BBC, ITN, Press Association and Sky News.

Filming has been banned in courts – with the exception of the UK Supreme Court – since the Criminal Justice Act 1925. Lawyers' arguments and judges' comments will be allowed to be shown – but defendants, witnesses and victims will not. Only one courtroom will be covered a day.

The most senior judge in England and Wales, Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, said: "My fellow judges and I welcome the start of broadcasting from the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal has, of course, been open to the public and to journalists for a long time. The change in the law which is now coming into force will permit the recording and broadcasting of the proceedings of the Court of Appeal. This will help a wider audience to understand and see for themselves how the Court of Appeal goes about its work,” he added.

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