In Britain, filming has been authorized in the Supreme Court since its creation in 2009, and in some cases of the English and Welsh Court of Appeals since 2013. Some courts in Scotland, which have a separate legal system, have invited requests for TV some procedures. since 1992, although filming has been rare in practice.
Copies of English sentences and Welsh criminal cases are available online, but often have dozens of pages and are not easily accessible to the general public. Under the new legislation, television and social media producers would probably edit the comments that will soon be filmed, which can last dozens of minutes, to adapt to shorter formats on various platforms.
Major British broadcasters have pressed for years for the introduction of cameras in court, calling the ban shameful and the ridiculous dependence on court sketches. On Thursday they welcomed the proposed legislation, with BBC news and current affairs director Fran Unsworth, calling it “a momentous day for transparency in our justice system.”
However, law experts have warned that the context could be overlooked if the comments are edited too much, and that judges could face threats if they become more public figures.
“If the public sees the faces of the judges in the living room on television and can identify them more easily, then, unfortunately, they are more likely to be personally attacked,” Amanda Pinto, president of the Bar Association, representing lawyers British, he told the BBC.
British commentators also wondered on Thursday if the introduction of cameras would turn the trials into a sensational drama, citing the 1995 trial of O.J. Simpson in Los Angeles, which attracted millions of live television viewers.
Buckland, the secretary of justice, said in an interview with British broadcaster TalkRadio that the filmed comments would not amount to entertainment, but information. He added that they would be available with a 10 second delay.
“The mission is to explain,” Buckland said.