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Court of Appeal hearings on film

Court of Appeal hearings on film

The Lord Chief Justice has said hearings and trials at the Court of Appeal will be filmed from October onwards. The most senior judge in England and Wales said the move could be made “without difficulty”.

The outgoing judge, who retires in September, did warn that filming jury trials could be problematic as witnesses may be deterred from coming forward. He told peers he was “anxious” for change but that agreements must be made with the Lord Chief Justice of the day.

Speaking to the House of Lords Constitution Committee, Lord Chief Justice said the average citizen would find most cases to be “incredibly dull”. But he warned the use of television cameras in court and any decision to extend their coverage beyond the Court of Appeal could be used by governments for political purposes, adding:

“I think you have got to see how it works in the Court of Appeal.”

He said he could envisage a time when political parties could use television coverage of court cases to their advantage to boost opinion polls, and added that Government plans to save cash by cutting legal aid could end up costing more, as there would be a hike in the number of people representing themselves, slowing the process down.

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