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
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Lettings and Sales Negotiator - OTE £46,000

£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Home Care Worker - Reading and Surrounding Areas

£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn