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Tape Recorders

Volume 35: debated on Monday 17 January 1983

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asked the Attorney-General on how many occasions tape recorders have been allowed to be used in judicial proceedings since the coming into force of the Contempt of Court Act 1981; and on how many occasions their use has been forbidden.

No records are kept of the number of occasions on which the use of tape recorders has been allowed or refused by the courts.

Does not the Attorney-General think that he should keep records on such an important issue? As it looks as if the House of Lords Judicial Committee will soon be considering another transport case that is to be brought in London, and as it refused to let me bring a tape recorder into its court last time, will the Attorney-General have a word with Lord Wilberforce and get him to change his mind?

There has been only one complaint since the Bill became an Act. As the hon. Gentleman knows, because he discussed them with me first, sympathetic guidelines have been issued. However, if he is dissatisfied with a court's refusal to grant him, or anyone else, the right to bring in a tape recorder, he should bear in mind that the proper person to speak to is not me, but my noble Friend the Lord Chancellor.