UK parliamentary committee criticizes bill on court broadcasts
MOSCOW, November 27 - RAPSI. The UK Parliament’s joint committee on human rights issued a report Monday criticizing legislation currently under consideration that, if passed, would provide for the filming and broadcast of court proceedings.
While the committee agreed that the policy goals of transparency and public accessibility are noble ones, it expressed concern that the new regulations might prove deterrent to witnesses and victims concerned about a lack of protection.
According to a summary of the report retrieved from the committee’s official website, “The Committee urges a much more cautious approach and recommends, before any extension of this power, that the Government conduct a more comprehensive public consultation, carry out a more detailed impact assessment, and conduct a review of the operation of this power after an elapse of years. For the moment the Bill ought to be amended to confine the scope of the power to the filming and broadcasting of judges and advocates in appellate proceedings only.”
Monday’s report details the committee’s comprehensive opinion on the Crime and Courts Bill, which was introduced to the House of Lords and passed the second reading this past May. It passed the Committee stage earlier this month and will be considered in the Report stage today.
Filming and broadcasts of witness testimonies and evidentiary examinations are currently prohibited in Russia. Moscow City Court Chairperson Olga Yegorova urged the necessity of a legislative amendment in order to allow for such broadcasts in the future. She noted that discussions toward that end are currently under way. In Yegorova’s view, live broadcasts would increase transparency and public trust in the judicial system.