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Judicial Smackdown II: The Empire Strikes Back

By Steven | May 31, 2008

Well, one judge does anyway.

You’ll remember that Justice Fogarty controversially ruled that some of the the guidelines for cameras in court were illegal (I discussed the ruling here). Another High Court judge, Keane J, has disagreed. In R v Crutchley, he said that the guidelines are “entirely compatible with a trial judge’s duty to secure that justice is done.” He notes that they are merely guidelines. He doesn’t think that the filming of an accused person in the dock is akin to pillory. He says that a degree of humiliation is part and parcel of the trial process, and is not enough to exclude the public from the courtroom, including the amplification that cameras provide.

I think he’s right.

Topics: Cameras in Court, General | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Judicial Smackdown II: The Empire Strikes Back”

  1. Graeme Edgeler Says:
    June 1st, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    There remains a question over what a District Court Judge is to do with the conflicting decisions. For myself, I’m not sure a DC Judge could follow them – yes, there is conflicting authority on whether the Guidelines were lawful, but Fogarty effectively struck some of them out. They are no longer guidelines.

  2. Steve Withers Says:
    June 3rd, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Apparently, it’s illegal for a person in the public gallery to take notes while attending a trial. Given how patchy much of the media coverage of trials can be, that seems unfortunate. I’d much rather be able to sit and listen to or watch the proceedings. I don’t care if they provide audio only, or if on video they obscure the faces of all involved: judge, lawyers, staff, accused, witnesses – the lot. It would be a huge improvement over what we have now just to hear what actually happened.


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