Interesting suggestion from a Crown Court Judge

A Crown Court Judge has suggested that traumatic cases should be televised, for example fatal road crash cases as it would allow others to see what affect it has on others such as the families and loved ones left behind.

Interesting idea!

I have often thought that if key moments in court were included in the news reports it would help peoples understanding of the consequences…and not just for RTA’s but any court case which has wider social implications. What we get at the moment is a dry reporter voicing over an image of a prison van being driven away in a hail of flashguns…‘x’ was jailed for ‘y’ years for ‘z’ crime…

Anything which will help people become more aware.
Watched a car pull out in front of the bike ahead of me this morning - totally unaware of what she had done wrong. I think he passed his swerve test module with flying colours. Not sure about his underwear though.

I think it stems back even further, in regards to training. Driving tests are very comfy, and people tend to forget the dangers, as they’re surrounded by distractions/comfort.

Make them aware at this stage, so they can absorb the responsibility.

Surely there is issues of turning other peoples misfortune into entertainment and the long term desensitising or the audience. I know some families may be keen to educate others, so they don’t make the same mistakes, but this may not always the case. Reducing a family mourning over a members’ gruesome and fatal last moments to a few seconds of some car crash TV montage, does somewhat trivialise their predicament.

Ultimately, it’s a fine line between education and desensitisation. It’s been straddled many times previously, from charity famine videos, war zone reporting to live police copter cameras.

Plus all the ‘no-win, no-fee’ legal scumbags would have a riot over surrounding commercial breaks!

Bring on Judge Judy UK :slight_smile:

sorry it’s a stupid idea… all it does is monetise the pain and suffering of others and uses that to make money for the TV stations that have adverts around it (and the companies advertising in that space)

and you can bet very soon we will get judges acting for the camera just like the idiot cops on the Road Wars et al programs…

It has been touted before, but I don’t think Criminal Cases really lend themselves to this sort of thing.

It is one thing to have it in the Supreme Court where Judges will give a reasoned judgment, however, in the Crown Court you will end up with “snippets” of the case, which will not explain anything.

A lot of Judges have taken stick over the years, some rightfully, for the things they have said or the sentences they have passed, and this has usually been explained by the fact that we get to see little more than the sentence, we have no context for that sentence other than the headline of the crime, this creates a distorted view of the process.

I doubt many people will sit through an entire Crown Court case, which will inevitably include many hours of legal argument which will only be even slightly interesting to those in the profession.

What people will watch is the Jury giving their verdict and the Judge passing sentence (if it happens on the same occasion which it does not always).

Can you imagine watching a Judge summing up for 3 and a half days? I have read a Judge’s summing up which took exactly that long and I can tell you, from the point of view of someone who was working on that case (Innocence Project) it was laborious.

Look, I love the law, I really do, and I want to be a criminal barrister, but even I ended up listening to Judges summing up in the Crown Court thinking to myself, my god the Jury must be either bored rigid, or just confused as hell at this stage.

Once you start putting in bad character directions, whether a confession is admissible and if it is directions as to what weight it should be given, whether inferences should be drawn from silence at the police station or silence in the court room, plus the many other directions that Crown Court Judges have to give as a standard for many of the criminal cases they deal with, I think that most people will be both confused and bored by watching.

Therefore, people will simply watch the interesting bits and gain no further understanding of the case, which will lead to the same problems we have with the reporting of cases at the moment. Headline factors, taken out of context, with no real understanding of the case or the people involved and people generally feeling upset and let down by the justice system.

I tend to think this is not such a good idea.

Does the live stream broadcasting of trials in America cut crime? Do the “police, camera. action” documentaries stop are hole drivers from being arse holes?

It’s all in the edit so I guess you have a point.

Witness statements might be interesting…surely those don’t go on for three days?

Witness statements might be of interest if only to show the diversity of evidence.

One of my neighbours is an ex DI and he tells me that the only time six eye witness statement have ever tallied was when they were all armed police officers that had just shot and killed. All other times witnesses couldn’t even agree on descriptions, clothing, times, the weather and so on.

The Scottish courts are ahead of English ones in respect to televising proceedings but even these have been very selective and the restrictions on what - and whom - can be shown, have been prescriptive.

For several years, Scottish judges and sheriffs have been encouraged by their forward-thinking communications people to make their sentencing statements available in full for publication online:

It’s instructive to read the full statement alongside the media’s report of proceedings. The latter usually includes a victim/family reaction and excerpts of the statement, which has been read in full in court.

12 inch sharp stainless steel spike protruding from the centre of every steering wheel, half an inch from the drivers rib cage. Job done.

That is because the police are allowed to collate their notes together before they have to submit them…

I doubt many witnesses themselves would want to be on TV giving evidence, and I would be deeply suspicious of those that did.

If you read the full article, you will see that the Judge has referred to just the summing up and/or sentencing being televised, not the full trial