Cameras in UK Courts as sentencing remarks to be televised for first time

Cameras in UK Courts as sentencing remarks to be televised for first time.

Cameras in UK Courts as sentencing remarks to be televised for first time. Image: UK government/Website

Broadcast news channels will air judges’ sentencing remarks from the Crown Court for the first time from Thursday, July 28, following a change in the law.

It will allow the public to see and hear judges explain the reasoning behind their sentences, giving a better understanding of how these decisions are reached, the UK government confirmed on Wednesday, July 27.

The move will open up some of the most high-profile courts across the country, including the Central Criminal Court, which is more commonly known as the Old Bailey.

The sentencing at the Old Bailey of Ben Oliver, who pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his grandfather in south London, is expected to be the first broadcasted case.

Only the judge will be filmed during any sentencing that is broadcast to protect the privacy of victims, witnesses and jurors.

Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab said:

“Opening up the courtroom to cameras to film the sentencing of some of the country’s most serious offenders will improve transparency and reinforce confidence in the justice system.”

“The public will now be able to see justice handed down, helping them understand better the complex decisions judges make.”

Previously, proceedings were only broadcast from certain Court of Appeal cases. The contract has now been extended to the Crown Court and Sky, BBC, ITN and Press Association are able to apply to film and broadcast sentencing remarks, with the judge deciding whether to grant the request.

The reform has been welcomed by national broadcasters who were involved in a successful pilot that allowed not-for-broadcast sentencing remarks to be filmed in eight Crown Court sites.

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Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.