For the first time earlier this week, television cameras were permitted to record part of proceedings at the Central Criminal Court (the Old Bailey).
Under the Crown Court (Recording) Order 2016, the prohibition on recording proceedings is partly removed to enable the piloting of recording of sentencing remarks in the Crown Court. On 1 August 2016, the sentencing remarks of the Recorder of London HHJ Hilliard QC were recorded in the matter of Muhaydin Mire who cut the throat of a stranger at Leytonstone Tube station.
The pilot lasts for three months, and details of the discussion in the House of Lords prior to its enactment can be seen here.
If you are expecting to see sentencing remarks in the near future however, you’ll be disappointed. The pilot is a not-for-broadcast test and so the footage will not be seen by the public.
Currently, the pilot requires the permission of the “qualifying judge” who will make the sentencing remarks.
A “qualifying judge” means a judge who—
(a) is a High Court judge or the Recorder of London or the Common Sergeant of London and is sitting at the Central Criminal Court; or
(b) is a High Court judge or a Senior Circuit judge and is sitting at Southwark; Manchester (Crown Square); Birmingham; Bristol; Liverpool; Leeds; or Cardiff.
However, with proceedings from the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) able to be broadcast following a successful test, we can expect sentencing remarks in the Crown Court to be broadcast to the public sometime soon.