Review into cameras in court

The Lord President, the Rt Hon Lord Gill, has decided to conduct a fundamental review of the current policy on the use of television cameras in court.

On 6 August 1992, the then Lord President, Lord Hope, issued a practice note which enabled broadcasting authorities to apply for permission to televise proceedings in the Court of Session and High Court of Justiciary. The note was supplemented by a notice issued by the former Lord President, Lord Hamilton, in January 2012.

The Lord President has determined that the current policy requires revisiting and given extended consideration.  He has instructed that a review be undertaken by Judicial Office Holders.  Until this review is completed no further applications to film in court will be considered by the Judicial Office for Scotland.

Background

It has been 20 years since Lord Hope’s Practice Note on the use of television cameras in court was issued.  In that time technology has changed considerably and the Lord President now feels that a review into the issue is required

The Lord President will appoint a number of judicial office holders to conduct a fundamental review into the current policy on the use of television cameras in court.  The committee charged with this task will outline the remit and scope of the review and the expected timescales.   It is anticipated that the review will consider the applications submitted to date, experience of handling such applications and the applicability of the current Practice Note.

Windfall Films, on behalf of Channel 4, was granted permission to film a number of High Court trials.  This project will continue to completion, but until the review findings are published no further filming requests will be considered.

The Judicial Office for Scotland currently receives between 3 - 4 requests to film in court each year.