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Televising for first time in a British criminal court

Television cameras will be allowed into film the sentencing of David Gilroy, 49, who was found guilty of murdering his former lover Suzanne Polley after she ended their affair.

He will be sentenced in Edinburgh on April 18th 2012, and cameras will be able to start filming after Gilroy’s criminal defence lawyer has finished the plea in mitigation. Only the Judge, the court clerk and the usher (Macer) will be allowed to be filmed.

This is being viewed as the first step to wider access for cameras in British courts. Ken Clarke, the Justice Secretary, believes that allowing cameras into courts to film proceedings will aid public confidence in the justice system.

A poll of barristers for The Times revealed that nearly two thirds were in favour of allowing television cameras into criminal trials in England and Wales.

Here at Swain & Co. we view this as a potentially positive step, but it needs to be approached with caution. Criminal trials need to be safeguarded against sensationalising so that defendants have the right to a fair hearing.

Public confidence is extremely important in the justice system, but in criminal representation it is also equally important to steer away from highly publicising cases which may lead to biased outcomes.

Swain & Co. have a specialist criminal defence team who have successfully defended clients through all stages of the legal process from initial police detainment to trial at Magistrates’ and Crown Courts, and dealing with appeals if needed. Call us now for free on 0800 0351 999.

Source: The Times Newspaper 11.04.12

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