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Caught on camera: Judges, trials, and videotapes

17 August 2016

A new pilot scheme sees judges' sentencing remarks filmed for the first time to test the viability of cameras in court. Gus Sellitto examines the effect this could have on the administration of justice

On 27 July 2016, the Old Bailey broke with more than 400 years of tradition when Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, the Recorder of London, delivered his sentencing remarks to camera in the trial of Muhaydin Mire, who was found guilty of the attempted murder of a musician at Leytonstone tube station. It was the first time that cameras were allowed to film a criminal courtroom. Until now filming has only been allowed at hearings at the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Unsurprisingly, the prospect of cameras in court divides opinion among judges, lawyers, politicians, and the wider public. Many, including former justice minister Shailesh Vara, argue that cameras in court would open up the justice system and ...

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