Broadcasting bits of court cases might be a good idea, says The Economist

Justice must be televised is how the Guardian put it – already on 5 December 2010.

Riots: Sky Wants Judges’ Remarks Televised – 9 April 2011 and September 05, 2011

The user survey points at 67% for TV and 33% against.

Cameras in court- Murder, she watched

These are the mini-headlines of The Economist’s article of 20 August 2011 that would have saved Norman Scarth‘s imprisonment, if it had become law already…

Supporters of reform say openness should be a democratic presumption, and that cameras in court will improve confidence in the legal system. Sceptics point out that due process requires discretion. Juries should be sheltered from political or sensationalised scrutiny, they say. Cameras might make witnesses cagey, or unduly humiliate defendants.

A study in America found that, on the contrary, witnesses are franker when being filmed. And American judges and lawyers deny (not always plausibly) that they act up for the camera. For the moment, limiting the footage to judges would avoid the thorniest problems. The robed and bewigged lords of the bench may soon be more of a media fixture than the rough courtroom sketch.


About Sabine Kurjo McNeill

I'm a mathematician and system analyst formerly at CERN in Geneva and became an event organiser, software designer, independent web publisher and online promoter of Open Justice. My most significant scientific contribution is
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4 Responses to Broadcasting bits of court cases might be a good idea, says The Economist

  1. I’m sure that filming in courts could be introduced without upsetting the legal process, especially as it is already successful in the Supreme Court.

    If the authorities are concerned about how it is done, why not have a single ‘official’ camera and sound recording, with copies made immediately available to defendants (perhaps at the close of each day’s business)? It would even be acceptable, as an interim measure during the initial evaluation, to position the camera so it does not focus on the jury, witnesses or defendant.

    Even with those restrictions it would be more open and transparent than at present.

  2. Stanley Embling says:

    As a Victim who got unlawfully injured and disabled, totally unaware (at the time,) of the fraud concealed/suppressed Theft of Property by fraudulent means off myself, (and many other unwary duped/deceived deprived Victims,) and the totally misleading Court Transcripts supplied to me… (i)… From Hull Crown court “hearing” on 14/02/2001 then from (ii)…My Appeal “hearings” to the Royal Court of Justice in 2002;..Its the misleading aspects of those Transcripts (copies of which I have,) which can also be substantiated as being totally spurious by witnesses; also by the the actual Tape recordings (which The Judge/sand HMCS would not release!!)
    It is because of such skulduggery/tampering and supplying of spurious Transcripts that takes place (to the detriment of trusting unsuspecting Victims thinking every thing is above board,) within Her Majesties Due Court Process by what in my opinion are certain corrupt Judiciary ( cloaking their own “conflicts of Interests” and Lawyers!!….cloaking their own
    It is because of the alleged fraud and corruption that takes within these \Her Majesties Courts that remain concealed/suppressed from the Public only full transparency will allow The Public get the Truth surely!!??
    After all Victims go to Court expecting to get their Democratic Rights Fundamental Freedoms “Fair Hearings” “The Level Playing Field” and Common Justice which is now being deprived to “Impecunious” Litigants in Persons denied Legal Aid Funding also Legal Expertise as Victims of serious “Indictable Offences” by the defendants (which The Police from their utter Misfeasance or Malfeasance failed to Investigate,) as I Discovered as that Impecunious Victim of serious crime ……First Hand!!…. PS..sending my above comments to Sky news also …

  3. JM says:

    I’m really uneasy about this….I think the thing abt Norman’s case is taht they’re successfully manipulating people into wanting it!

    Being filmed without your consent is a form of rape. Presumably they all still have the footage and regularly jerk off to it when they literally gang raped me….but that’s besides the point! If i had a home and some c*** put up a camera to monitor my comings and goings then i have every right to self defence in the smashing thing….and yes breaking into one’s home is a violent assault in itself, regardless of wethher they’re wearing masks or not who there employer turns out to be….empoyees of the BBC also have form for this sort of thing as well aas all the other TV companies….it doesn’t actually mean I really am a schizo if i end up killing one of them ins elf defence….

    and then they wd want to put me in Court and rapeme some more? If i co-operate with being raped it’s not actually rape now is it….

    Very good chance they’re raping me right now and I wdn’t even know it! RIPA legalised that crime a decade ago! Pretty sure I know where the one downstairs is……just ahven’t managed to find the one in this room! Never without consent and even if consent is given for one thing doesn’t mean they can change the words around, add some letters and call it consent for broadcast as well! Everybody has the right to some god damn basic privacy….

  4. “Being filmed without your consent is a form of rape”

    Have you looked at a Dictionary recently?

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