John Whittingdale tells ITN debate he favours full televising of courts (video)

Head of the Commons culture committee John Whittingdale revealed that there was widespread support in Parliament for allowing cameras into courts when he spoke at an ITN-organised debate on this issue.

The full video of the debate has now been posted online. Participants discussed the impact of proposals to allow cameras into court cases early in the New Year.

Under proposed reforms, broadcasters will only be able to show judges’ summary remarks – meaning that witness statements will still only be viewed by those in the court room. The scheme will begin in the Court of Appeal and is expected to be extended to Crown Courts.

Among those speaking against the move, there appeared to be widespread concern that journalists would only film the most sensational cases. But it was noted that the same can already be said about newspaper court reports.

Whittingdale said he would like to see full televising of all courts, noting that it’s “unthinkable now that Parliament could not to be televised”.

Sir Ivan Lawrence QC noted that half of all those who face trial and acquitted and he voiced concerns about additional stigma for those are found not guilty.

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