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Filming ban to be lifted at Royal Courts of Justice

A near-90-year ban on filming in court will be lifted today in what has been hailed as a "landmark moment for justice and journalism".

A near-90-year ban on filming in court will be lifted today. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

For the first time, cameras will be able to broadcast from one of the highest courts in the land, the Court of Appeal.

After years of campaigning by broadcasters BBC, ITN, Press Association and Sky News, cameras have been placed in five courtrooms at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Cameras will be allowed to film at the Court of Appeal

From tomorrow cameras will be allowed to film at the Court of Appeal. After 90 years, the ban on filming proceedings there has been lifted. We will be able to see the legal arguments and the judge's ruling. But the defendants and witnesses will not be filmed.

And it could pave the way for cameras in other Courts.

ITV News' Paul Davies reports:

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ITN chief: 'Filming in courts has been a long time coming'

Footage film in the court room can be used in a news and current affairs context only and is banned from being used in other genres such as satire, entertainment or commercial use in advertising.

The crest behind the judges in the Court of Appeal Credit: ITV News

ITN chief executive John Hardie said: "Filming in courts has been a long time coming and is for the benefit of open justice and democracy. Never before will television viewers have had such an insight to justice being seen to be done."

Camera positions are to be operated by the court video journalist with both legal and journalistic qualifications.

Safeguards will protect the administration of justice

Safeguards have been put in place to protect witnesses, victims and the administration of justice while ensuring cameras in the courtroom do not disrupt proceedings.

A 70-second delay will act as one of a number of safeguards. Credit: ITV News

Some cases will be broadcast live with a 70-second delay to allow the removal of anything that contravenes broadcasting regulations or standard court reporting restrictions - such as contempt of court laws and court orders.

In addition, appeals against conviction which might result in a re-trial will only be shown once the case is decided, and the judge can order no filming or broadcasting if it is in the interests of justice.

Judge: 'Wider audience' will understand and see courts

The top judge in England and Wales has said that allowing cameras in courtrooms will allow a "wider audience" to understand and see for themselves the workings of the legal process.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, said: "My fellow judges and I welcome the start of broadcasting from the Court of Appeal.

"The Court of Appeal has, of course, been open to the public and to journalists for a long time.

Lord Dyson, Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling and the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales Sir John Thomas (R). Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images

"The change in the law which is now coming into force will permit the recording and broadcasting of the proceedings of the Court of Appeal.

"This will help a wider audience to understand and see for themselves how the Court of Appeal goes about its work."

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Victims, witnesses and defendants will not be filmed

Victims, witnesses and defendants will not be filmed while cameras instead focus on lawyers' arguments and judges' summing up, decision and - in criminal cases - sentencing remarks. Proceedings will be filmed from only one courtroom on any given day.

Victims will not be filmed. Credit: ITV News

The lifting of the ban means it will be the first time that cameras have been allowed in courts other than the Supreme Court since filming was banned by the Criminal Justice Act 1925.

Landmark moment for courts as ban on filming is lifted

A ban on filming in court is to be lifted tomorrow in a landmark moment for journalism and the justice system. For the first time, cameras will be able to broadcast from one of the highest courts in the land, the Court of Appeal.

Cameras will be allowed in court from tomorrow. Credit: ITV News

After years of campaigning by broadcasters ITN, Press Association, BBC, and Sky News, cameras have been placed in five courtrooms at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Courts minister: 'Justice must be seen to be done'

The Government said it will now consider filming of sentencing remarks in the Crown Court, with victims, witnesses, offenders and jurors still protected and not forming part of the broadcasts.

This is a landmark moment that will give the public the opportunity to see and hear the decisions of judges in their own words.

It is another significant step towards achieving our aim of having an open and transparent justice system.

We are clear that justice must be seen to be done and people will now have the opportunity to see that process with their own eyes. It will also help further the public's understanding of the often-complex process of criminal and civil proceedings.

– Courts minister Shailesh Vara

A pilot took place in the Court of Appeal in the Royal Courts of Justice in 2005, in which cameras were allowed to film in the court.

Paul Hollywood reveals he lost weight during Bake Off

Paul Hollywood has admitted that he shed pounds while filming The Great British Bake Off - despite the culinary delights on offer - due to stress.

Although the fourth series of Bake Off attracted record ratings, Hollywood did not enjoy the same success in the US, where The American Baking Competition was axed due to poor ratings.

The Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood spoke to the Radio Times. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The 47-year-old told the Radio Times, "I stress out. I've lost a stone and a bit in the past eight months just through work."

The baker, who left his wife of 15 years Alexandra earlier this year, said he does not deliberately watch his weight but he is careful about what he eats in the evenings.

"I tend to eat more in the day. In the evening I drink lots of water and try not to eat anything heavy after six o'clock," he added.

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