Live telecast of proceedings at the UK Supreme Court

It seems Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger’s recommendations on making the justice delivery and administration system more transparent through televised hearings have hit the right chords in the Supreme Court of the UK.

The Supreme Court UK launched a service today where viewers could watch the court hearings for free on the web. Of course, the judges would have the right to determine what should and should not be telecasted.

In Lord Neuberger’s words:

If we wish to increase public confidence in the justice system, transparency and engagement, there is undoubtedly something to be said for televising some hearings, provided that there were proper safeguards to ensure that this increased access did not undermine the proper administration of justice.

Providing fair trials in the public eye bolsters public confidence in the administration of justice, and hence in our democratic form of government. It is therefore a matter of concern if members of the public rarely come into our courts to observe what goes on in them. Stating that our courts, as a general principle, are open to all is one thing. But it must be a reality.

On tweeting from Courts he once remarked:

We should foster the already developing community of active informed court reporting on the internet through blogs and tweeting.

The image of the courts as daunting fortresses inaccessible to public and how the higher judiciary functions in the UK will definitely be overhauled with this initiative.

Across the Atlantic, in the SCOTUS, audio recordings of the proceedings are made available online through The Oyez Project.

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