Jack Straw: TV cameras to be allowed in Supreme Court

Proceedings in the Supreme Court are set to be televised, justice secretary Jack Straw has told MPs.

The Supreme Court, which takes over legal duties from the House of Lords later this year, could allow in cameras to cover judgments, he told the House of Commons yesterday.

But he appeared to rule out US-style coverage of criminal trials, warning that such broadcasts could cause more problems than they solved.

The new Supreme Court will be housed in the Middlesex Guildhall, across Parliament Square from the Houses of Parliament.

Stafford Labour MP David Kidney said the Director of the Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, supported allowing television cameras into courts in England and Wales to get “more openness” in the system.

Kidney asked: “Do you agree with me that we should let in the TV cameras so that we could open up the criminal justice system to a wider audience?”

Straw replied: “I think there are slightly complicated issues when it comes to cameras in trial courts.

“The proceedings of the Law Lords at the point of judgment are already the subject of television.

“I think we will find that the proceedings of the Supreme Court, when it starts across the road in October this year, will also be the subject of televising.

“But I think the House would wish to think long and hard before we went down the route of some American states – but not all – and had televising of court proceedings, which I think could cause many more problems than it sought to solve.”

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said Law Lords’ judgements were read out in the House of Lords and covered by cameras in the House.

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