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Broadcasting The Judicial Business Of The House: Select Committee Report

Volume 570: debated on Thursday 21 March 1996

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rose to move, That the report of the Select Committee on Broadcasting the Judicial Business of the House be agreed to [HL Paper 42].

The noble Lord said: My Lords, the House may be aware that, at present, a general prohibition exists on broadcasting the judicial proceedings of the House, subject to the exception set out in this report. Under that exception, judgments have been broadcast on three occasions in the past. Each time agreement to allow the broadcast was sought both from the Broadcasting Committee and the Law Lords. The present position is cumbersome. At the request of the Law Lords, the Broadcasting Committee now seeks to establish a more satisfactory arrangement.

The report recommends that the general prohibition on the broadcast of judicial proceedings be upheld, but that the Law Lords be given authority to relax the rule on a case by case basis where they think it appropriate to do so.

By retaining the general prohibition, the committee envisages that the adoption of the report will not lead to the regular broadcasting of judicial proceedings. Rather, the effect of the report will be to put in place a proper procedure for giving permission to broadcast judicial proceedings on an occasional basis.

The report has been made and agreed by the Broadcasting Committee at the request of the Law Lords themselves. The Law Lords have assured the committee that they support the recommendations contained in the report. I beg to move.

On Question, Motion agreed to.