Live Appeal Court broadcasts get backing from MPs

The Supreme Court
Image caption Selected Supreme Court judgements are already recorded and broadcast in full on BBC Parliament

Live broadcasts of criminal and civil cases in the Court of Appeal are set to be allowed after MPs gave the move their final approval.

From October, live broadcasts will be allowed of the legal arguments and the final judgment, the Ministry of Justice said, while victims, witnesses, jurors and defendants will not be filmed.

Courts minister Helen Grant said: "Justice must be seen to be done."

Filming in English and Welsh courts was banned in 1925.

There is no similar ban in Scotland - but all parties must agree before cases can be broadcast.

Rulings from the Supreme Court, the final court of appeal for all UK civil cases, and criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, are already streamed live on the internet and recorded for later transmission on news outlets.

Ms Grant added: "We are opening up the court process to allow people to see and hear the judges' decisions in their own words."

The government also plans to extend the scheme to allow the transmission of sentencing remarks in the Crown Court.

Similarly, victims, witnesses, offenders and jurors will not be part of broadcasts, the Ministry of Justice said.

MPs approved secondary legislation enacting the change of policy in the Court of Appeal of England and Wales on Wednesday evening.

Members of the House of Lords will have the chance to debate the legislation before it comes into effect in October, the ministry said.

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