Judge, Camera, Action: Camera’s in the Courtroom

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After news that the Lord Chief of Justice has welcomed TV Cameras within the legal court system, questions instantaneously occur asking whether an institution as influential and personal should be accustomed and conformed to the media influence which is so heavily embedded within society.

There is no denying that in the last couple of decades access to information both locally and globally at such a rapid speed has acted as a catalytic agent in terms of society feeling it is a necessity to know every minuscule detail. This ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous; whether this be knowing how many pets a celebrity owns to more substantial political aspects of society. It is apparent that new technologies has opened up our eyes and broadened our scope of the world however when do we collectively say stop and utilise the word ‘privacy’?

It is important to note that at this current stage the only place the media embracement is being employed is within the court of appeal which is set to be established for the first time in October. However, this does not mean the 85 year old ban will soon follow a reform and be put in place within the Crown Court. So what effect could this have upon the court system?

Primarily the most prominent issue that has been articulated repeatedly is the issue of the court systems formal institution being undermined by the commercialisation of media influence. For example, Lord Chief explained how “We will arrange for those judges who sit in these courts to have some training in the fact of the television cameras going to be present .” Surely this portrays an image of the court becoming something much more of a soap opera than one of the most vital institutions in detaining and punishing criminals of our society?

Furthermore, it cannot be denied that this reform has been influenced from our westernised friends ,the USA. Programmes such as Divorce Court and Judge Judy are constantly being played on television sets globally and one cannot help but think that this helps to provide and legitimise a platform of theatrics and an eccentric aspect to cases which are supposed to be seen as something serious and sometimes catastrophic. Do we need this in the UK?

Although there are arguments for the use of media and televised court proceedings within the UK such as it exploiting the sentences to the public and acting as a deterrent for other criminals within society, It cannot be helped but to question whether turning a court into a stage is really the only applicable measure that can be endeavoured in order to deter criminals from disobeying the law

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