Television cameras are set to be allowed into crown courts for the first time. Sentencing remarks by senior judges will be filmed in a pilot expected to start within weeks.
The footage will not be broadcast but the historic move could pave the way for the first live coverage of crown court cases. Until now filming has only been allowed at hearings at the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Announcing the scheme, justice minister Shailesh Vara said: “My hope is that this will lead to more openness and transparency as to what happens in our courts.”
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.”
The three-month pilot will take place in eight courts around England and Wales.
They are the Old Bailey and Southwark in London, Manchester (Crown Square), Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Leeds and Cardiff.
The cameras will film only the judge, and the filming of all other court users will remain banned.