Cameras allowed to film in Court of Appeal

BBC reporter Clive Coleman takes a tour inside the court

Cameras are being allowed to film inside one of the top courts in England and Wales.

From Thursday, we'll be able to watch lawyers and judges during cases in the Court of Appeal.

Filming has been banned since 1925 and the change has been described as a landmark moment in law.

The aim of allowing cameras is to make the justice system clearer to people but they won't be allowed in Crown courts and Magistrates' courts.

Broadcasters like the BBC, ITN and Sky News have been campaigning for years for camera points to be installed in courts.

Courts: What's the difference?

  • The Court of Appeal is the second highest in the country - after the Supreme court.
  • People go there when they disagree with a decision made in the Crown court.
  • The Crown court deals with the most serious criminal cases in England and Wales.
  • Magistrates courts deal with smaller cases. All criminal trials start there.

In the US, what happens inside court is allowed to be broadcast on TV - and big trials get millions of viewers tuning in.

TV companies hope that cameras will eventually be allowed into other courts like the crown and magistrates courts.

There will still be strict rules over what can be shown on TV however.

Lawyers and Judges will broadcast, but what defendants, witnesses and victims say will not.

Any live footage will also be broadcast about a minute later than it actually happens. That way a special journalist in the room can cut out any bits of information that's not allowed to be shown on TV.

Whilst lots of people have welcomed the move to allow cameras inside - others are worried about what it could mean in the future.

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, who works in the court says she is worried that what goes on inside could turn into entertainment, and people will stop taking it seriously.

She said: "What I'm concerned about is something much more fragile, which is our liberty as citizens in this country that the legal system should be taken seriously...There should be some awe about it and it shouldn't be turned into entertainment for the masses and I don't trust the editors."

In Scotland, cameras have been allowed inside courts since 1992, but they are very rarely broadcast on TV.

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