Posted: Thu 16th Jan 2020

TV Cameras to be allowed to broadcast high-profile cases from Mold Crown Court

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jan 16th, 2020


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Television cameras will be allowed to broadcast high profile crown court cases for the first time, following draft legislation being laid by the government today, Thursday January 16.

The new legalisation will allow cameras to broadcast the sentencing remarks of High Court and Senior Circuit judges in some of the most high-profile cases including murders, rapes and other serious offences being heard in crown courts across England and Wales, including Mold.

Filming has been permitted in some Court of Appeal cases since 2013.

The government is now extending this to the crown court meaning the public will be able to hear judges explain the reasons behind their sentences for the most serious offences.

Trials will not be televised as they are in the US as only judges sentencing remarks will be filmed, no other court user – including victims, witnesses, jurors and court staff – will be filmed.

Justice Secretary & Lord Chancellor, Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP, said:

“This government, alongside the judiciary, is committed to improving public understanding of our justice system and allowing cameras into the Crown Court will do just that.

It will ensure our courts remain open and transparent and allow people to see justice being delivered to the most serious of offenders.”

Today’s legislation follows a successful three-month pilot that allowed not-for-broadcast sentencing remarks to be filmed in eight Crown Courts and has been welcomed by ITN, Sky and the BBC.

John Battle, Head of Compliance at ITN, said:

“This is a landmark moment and an important day for open justice and transparency of our legal system. For the first time the public will see images of proceedings in the Crown Court on television news.

This change will help a wider audience to see and understand the criminal justice process for themselves.”

John Ryley, Head of Sky News, said:

“The filming of judges sentencing remarks in the Crown Court is a great day for transparency in our courts.

This is a further step in helping the public to understand the constraints under which judges work and the complexities of many of the biggest criminal cases.

This has been a long campaign by the three main broadcasters working together.”

Fran Unsworth, Director of News and Current Affairs at the BBC, said:

“Today’s announcement comes after a great campaign by the BBC, ITN and Sky to allow filming of judges’ sentencing remarks in the Crown Court and is a momentous day for transparency in our justice system.

By opening up the courts, our audiences will be able to further their understanding of the criminal justice system and witness the judicial process for themselves.”

This provision is part of the government’s wider court reform and digitalisation programme, using technology and modern ways of working to increase access to justice for people up and down the country.

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