Nine years after it was proposed, TV cameras will be allowed into criminal courts in England and Wales to film proceedings.
The major change in the law will allow broadcasters to film judges sentencing serious criminals in crown courts and broadcast it to audiences around the world and may be kept on YouTube. However, Broadcasting of entire trials will remain off limits, unlike what obtains in the United states of America.
Under the new rules, broadcast stations can request to film the very last stage of a criminal prosecution when a judge sentences a convicted defendant.
Before now, sentencing hearings are witnessed daily by journalists, juries, victims or their families – but they are little understood by the public because the detail is often simplified in daily news reporting.
Cameras will not be allowed to film victims, witnesses and jurors amid concerns that wider televising of trials could damage the quality of evidence or sensationalise cases. A law from 1925 that bans all other filming in crown courts remains in force.