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Live broadcasting from inside courts began last week with the transmission of an application for leave to appeal against a sentence in the Court of Appeal.
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.
We are clear that justice must be seen to be done and people will now have the opportunity to see that process with their own eyes. It will also help further the public's understanding of the often complex process of criminal and civil proceedings.
While this marks an opening up of the court process we will always balance the need to make the justice system more accessible with the needs of victims and witnesses. That is why we will ensure that throughout the court process, they will not be filmed.'
The Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas said:
‘My fellow judges and I welcome the start of broadcasting from the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal has, of course, been open to the public and to journalists for a long time. The change in the law which is now coming into force will permit the recording and broadcasting of the proceedings of the Court of Appeal. This will help a wider audience to understand and see for themselves how the Court of Appeal goes about its work.'
Victims, defendants and witnesses will not be filmed, but advocates' arguments, and the judges' summing up, decision and (in criminal cases) sentencing remarks may be broadcast.
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