Court of Appeal to be televised for the first time after filming ban is lifted

Cameras now fitted in five courtrooms at the Royal Courts of Justice

A ban has been lifted on the filming of courts in England and Wales, in a move hailed by broadcasters as a "landmark moment" for the industry. 

The first court of appeal case was broadcast today from courtroom number four at the Royal Courts of Justice.

The decision to allow cameras into courtrooms came after BBC, ITN, Sky News and the Press Association formed a cross-broadcaster working group that campaigned to lift the ban on filming.

Campaigners argue that televising court cases will help the public gain a better understanding of criminal justice procedures.

Five courtrooms at the Royal Courts of Justice are now pre-wired with cameras placed in discreet positions and are to be operated by the court video journalist Matt Nichols.

James Harding, BBC director of news and current affairs, said the ban was a "landmark moment for justice and journalism" and will assist millions of viewers in gaining a better understanding of the judicial system in England and Wales.

John Battle, ITN head of compliance argued that it has taken too long for this day to come.

He said: “It's about ensuring there's greater transparency in courts and that justice is seen to be done as well as done.

“The Government has decided openness is important to greater understanding of the criminal justice procedures and to ensure the public get a greater knowledge of how our justice system works.”

Discussing compliance, he said: “This is not going to be that different from any other form of journalistic process - internet, television, tweeting. We have to comply with the law.

A number of safeguarding measures have been introduced to ensure broadcasters do not infringe upon regulations or standard court reporting restrictions, such as a 70-second delay on live broadcasts to allow the removal of any footage that could, for example, contravene contempt of court laws.

Additionally, appeals against convictions which could result in a re-trial will only be shown once the case is decided, and and the judge can order no filming or broadcasting if it is in the interests of justice.

Footage can be used in a news and current affairs context only and is prohibited from being used in other genres such as satire, entertainment or commercial use in advertising.

The Government said it will now consider filming of sentencing remarks in the Crown Court, with victims, witnesses, offenders and jurors still protected and not forming part of the broadcasts.

In 2011 that the then-justice secretary Kenneth Clarke finally announced plans to lift the ban on filming in courts.

Courts minister Shailesh Vara said: “This is a landmark moment that will give the public the opportunity to see and hear the decisions of judges in their own words.

“It is another significant step towards achieving our aim of having an open and transparent justice system."

Additional reporting by Press Association

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Interactive / Mobile Developer

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - Midweight

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Front End Developer

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: Front End Developer - Midweight / Senior

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks