Wednesday, September 15, 2010

U.S. Judiciary Approves Pilot Project for Cameras in District Courts

The Judicial Conference of the United States, the policy-making agency for federal judiciary in the United States, has approved a pilot project to evaluate the effect of cameras in federal district courtrooms and the public release of digital video recordings of some civil proceedings:
"Courts that participate in the pilot will, if necessary, amend their local rules (providing adequate public notice and opportunity to comment) to provide an exception for judges participating in the pilot project. Participation in the pilot will be at the trial judge’s discretion."

"Under the pilot, participating courts will record proceedings. Recordings by other entities or persons will not be allowed. Recording of members of a jury will not be permitted, and parties in a trial must consent to participating in the pilot."
Earlier Library Boy postings on media access to the courts in Canada or abroad include:
  • Report on TV Cameras in Ontario Courtrooms (August 24, 2006): "A report released today by Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant recommends that cameras be allowed in some courts in the province. This would include TV cameras. The list of Courts would cover the Ontario Court of Appeal and lower courts where no witnesses would be examined (...) The full text of the report includes a useful bibliography on the issue of media and the court system."
  • UK Courts to Accept TV Cameras (November 14, 2006): "The British media is reporting that civil and criminal trials in the UK may soon be televised. According to the Nov. 13, 2006 Reuters article Courtroom TV could be a step nearer, '(P)roposals that could lead to television cameras being installed in courts could soon be set out by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, head of the judiciary. A five-week pilot was started in Nov 2004 in the Court of Appeal in the Royal Courts of Justice in London and the consultation process was completed in the summer of 2005'."
  • Report on Televising U.S. Supreme Court and Other Federal Court Proceedings (November 29, 2006): "The Federation of American Scientists has made available on its website a report by the Congressional Research Service entitled Televising Supreme Court and Other Federal Court Proceedings: Legislation and Issues (...) 'This report also discusses the arguments that have been presented by proponents and opponents of electronic media coverage of federal court proceedings, including the possible effect on judicial proceedings, separation of powers concerns, the purported educational value of such coverage, and possible security and privacy concerns. Finally, the report discuses the various options Congress may address as it considers legislation, including which courts should be covered, whether media coverage should be authorized or required, possible security and privacy safeguards, and the type of media coverage that would be permitted'."
  • Maryland Appeals Court to Webcast (December 1, 2006): "The Maryland Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, will provide live webcasts of its proceedings, 'hoping to be ready in time to broadcast arguments set for Dec. 4 in a high-profile case involving gay marriage,' according to an Associated Press agency story reprinted in the Houston Chronicle on Nov. 27, 2006. Maryland will thus join other U.S. states. The newspaper story explains that '(A)bout half of the appellate state courts (...) allow coverage of hearings on the Web or on cable channels'."
  • U.S. Judiciary To Make Court Proceeding Recordings Available Online (March 19, 2007): "The legal news site JURIST is reporting that the Judicial Conference of the United States has approved a pilot program to make free audio recordings of court proceedings available online."
  • Webcasting of Ontario Court Proceedings To Start Soon (May 27, 2007): "At the end of last week, the Ontario Attorney General's office announced it was going forward with certain recommendations of the Panel on Justice and the Media, including the live streaming of some proceedings of the Court of Appeal for Ontario..."
  • UK Considering TV Cameras in New Supreme Court (October 23, 2007): "According to the Times Online, the United Kingdom's new Supreme Court will allow cameras to broadcast hearings. The new high court is set to open in 2009. It is being created under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005."
  • Manitoba Provincial Courts To Start Broadcasting Soon? (October 24, 2007): "The Winnipeg Free Press is reporting that Manitoba's chief provincial court judge wants to allow live broadcasts of court decisions."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 10:05 pm


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