Election Court Hearing to be Broadcast Live

Proceedings in the Election Court will be broadcast live for the first time after the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service reached an agreement with STV for the hearing to be streamed live on the internet.

STV News has agreed to facilitate the live continuous broadcast of proceedings in a petition brought by a number of constituents challenging the election of Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael as MP for Orkney and Shetland. 

The Election Court trial will commence at 10.30 on Monday 7 September in Court 1 at the Court of Session in Edinburgh in front of Lady Paton and Lord Matthews. 

At a previous hearing it was decided that there were special circumstances which rendered it desirable that the petition should be heard in Edinburgh rather than on one of the two island groups which make up the constituency.  To enable the constituents to view proceedings permission was granted by the Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Carloway, for live broadcast arrangements to be put in place due to the exceptional circumstances which this case presented. 

Earlier this year a judge-led group which was appointed by the Lord President to review the current policy on the recording and broadcasting of proceedings from Scottish courts recommended that filming of legal debates in civil first instance proceedings may be allowed for live transmission, subject to clear and comprehensive guidelines. 

While this general guidance has yet to be drafted, specific guidance setting out a number of conditions to enable filming to take place in this exceptional case was drafted and agreed. As a result of this agreement, proceedings will be streamed live on the STV website via the STV Player to enable constituents in Orkney and Shetland and across the whole of the UK to view the trial. 

Using remotely-controlled cameras STV has undertaken to share the live feed to all other media organisations wishing to broadcast on their respective platforms. Any other broadcaster which seeks to use the footage will be subject to the same conditions outlined in the agreed guidance. 

STV will broadcast full coverage of the trial on the STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh channels which can be found at Freeview channel 23, Sky channel 117 and Virgin channel 159 in both broadcast areas. The live coverage will be available to watch online at stv.tv and will also be available on YouTube.  

The court has also agreed that journalists will be allowed use Twitter to tweet live from the courtroom during the course of the hearing.