Thursday, August 24, 2006

Report on TV Cameras in Ontario Courtrooms

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.

Recommendation #3 reads:

"The Courts of Justice Act should be amended to permit cameras for proceedings in the Court of Appeal and Divisional Court, and for applications or motions in the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice, where no witnesses will be examined at the hearing, subject to the discretion of the panel or judge, which discretion should be exercised recognizing the primacy of openness".

"Further, on those unusual occasions where witnesses are called to testify in any of the above appeals, applications or motions, cameras for such proceedings would be permitted where the presiding judge, the parties and witnesses agree".

The report explains that:

  • More than 80 Canadian public inquiries have been televised
  • British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Manitoba allow cameras in some courtrooms with prior permission
  • Courtroom proceedings of the Supreme Court of Canada are televised by the Canadian Parliamentary Affairs Channel
  • All American states had some provision for live or taped media coverage of court proceedings
  • Supreme courts in eleven U.S. states regularly broadcast or webcast their hearings

The report also proposes that reporters be allowed to bring tape recorders into court.

The full text of the report includes a useful bibliography on the issue of media and the court system.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:10 pm


Anonymous Anonymous said...

With cameras inside the courtrooms there is a possibility to document the proceedings that are happening inside. If possible, historic cases may in fact be captured on film and not just on sketches. the important thing is that the security of the films should be prioritized.

5:09 am  

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