New legislation being laid before Parliament last week will allow judges’ sentencing remarks in serious high-profile criminal cases to be seen and heard by TV and online audiences. Trials themselves will not be televised, and only the judge themselves will be filmed.
The change will apply for sentencing in cases of murder, sexual offences, terrorism and other serious high-profile criminal cases in Crown Courts in England and Wales, including the Old Bailey.
The filming can be ‘live’, although with a short delay, to avoid breaking any reporting restrictions in effect around the case, or other error, however it is more likely that the film will be used for later broadcast in news reports. The full sentencing remarks will also be held on a public-access website.
All crown court staff involved will receive training and guidance, and the bill has to pass through parliament, meaning that the first broadcasts are likely to take place in late spring or early summer.
the response has been mixed, with some welcoming the change, while others warn of increased risks to judges’ personal safety with increased recognition.
More information can be found on a BBC report about it.