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Lord Chief Justice speaks out against filming the sentencing of criminals

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By John Glenday, Reporter

January 31, 2013 | 2 min read

Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, has spoken out against the use of television cameras in court to film the sentencing of criminals, saying that he was ‘troubled’ by the notion of ‘cameras just swanning round the court’.

Judge’s remarks come ahead of the introduction of cameras into the Court of Appeal from October, an event which England’s most senior judge will miss as he retires in September.

He said: “I’m perfectly happy for cameras to come in to court providing their presence doesn’t increase the risk that justice won’t be done. Not sentencing, I take a very strong view about sentencing.

“Everybody thought that if you fixed the camera on the judge then it would be all right, but of course people can demonstrate during the sentencing remarks, so there are cheers and boos.

“We have to be very careful about how this works."

Judge also revealed that the introduction of cameras will necessitate training lawyers in how this will impact their work: “I hope I am not being cynical but I can envisage a time coming – not in any situation that I can contemplate today nor with any political party currently lying in office – but I can well see a political advantage being seen, ‘Well, the television companies have been awfully difficult at the moment for the last few months, it might do quite well for us to let them do it.”

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