Filming courts: Falconer weighs up openness v protection

More than a year since a pilot project testing out filming in courts was completed, Lord Falconer was unable to clarify when a decision will be made on how to push forward with the scheme.

The head of compliance at ITN, John Battle, said to Lord Falconer: ‘It’s been a significant amount of time, and for the media organisations and stakeholders taking part in the pilot project, it seems reasonable that we’d have an answer.’

Lord Falconer explained that there was not a simple yes or no answer, and that providing greater access to court cases ‘should not come at the cost of victims and witnesses”.

He said: ‘There is no easy answer. Personally, I’m in favour of moving forward in the ways I have already set out.

‘No to filming witnesses and victims, yes to judges when, for example, they are making their sentencing remarks. But the way forward must be one which, like in the family courts, does not deliver openness at the price of public protection.”

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