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Court Proceedings (Televising)

Volume 550: debated on Tuesday 18 September 2012

Legislation to amend the current prohibition on televising court proceedings is included in the Crime and Courts Bill, which is currently being debated in the other place. Initially, we plan to allow broadcasting of judgments and advocates’ arguments from the Court of Appeal.

I thank the Minister for that response. Will he give a cast-iron guarantee that when the legislation comes before the House, safeguards will in place to ensure that we do not see a repeat of what happened with sensational trials such as those of O.J. Simpson and Conrad Murray in the United States? Will the Minister assure us that if such things do occur, the judge will be able to stop televised proceedings?

Absolutely, and I think that the hon. Gentleman’s concerns will be shared across the House and, indeed, across the judiciary and the courts system more widely. I am very clear that although this reform is in the interests of transparency, which we hold to be very important, it must not give offenders opportunities for theatrical public displays. Victims, witnesses, offenders and jurors will not be filmed, so I hope that we will be able to avoid the problems that we all want to avoid.