News released today by the Ministry of Justice means that cameras will be allowed to broadcast the sentencing remarks of Senior Judges in some high-profile criminal cases, including those at the Old Bailey.
The entire trials will not be televised, as they are in the US, and only the judge will be filmed. Therefore no victims, witnesses, jurors and court staff will be filmed.
This means the public will be able to hear judges explain the reasons behind their sentences for the most serious offences.
The Justice Secretary & Lord Chancellor, 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.”
As a civil and commercial litigator, rather than a criminal one, I find this proposal very interesting and exciting. While, I doubt there will ever be the demand for civil judgments to be televised for public consumption, it could prove a useful way for law students and practising lawyers to obtain a better understanding of case law in the civil courts.