Collins 'appalled' by cameras in court
Sat, 22 Sep 2012 10:52a.m.
The use of television cameras in court is likely to be reviewed, with Justice Minister Judith Collins saying she is appalled by the coverage of some trials.
Law Society president Jonathan Temm called last week for cameras to be banned from the courtroom, saying some coverage demeaned the justice system and put the trial process at risk.
Asked on TV3's The Nation programme this morning whether she was comfortable with the use of cameras at trials, Ms Collins singled out the recent Scott Guy murder case and said it was not good for the justice system to have little snippets of sensationalised recording being used as a determinant of a case.
"No, I'm not comfortable with the sensationalisation of a few moments. You saw, for instance, in that case where cameras were trained on the accused [Ewan McDonald] and also on his wife and the widow of Scott Guy. It was sensationalised to the extent that it was almost like reality TV and I don't think that that does justice any good."
By the same token, justice needed to be seen to be done.
The Government would look at the issue as part of a big workload in the justice system.
"One of the problems with the cameras used as they are is that we see a tiny snippet and it's normally of someone about to cry or crying and that does not give any indication of the evidence the jury is hearing."
Television coverage of court cases has been allowed since 1995, when a pilot scheme was introduced, though only if the presiding judge grants permission.
Mr Temm said court trials were meant to remove emotion from the process, but television "introduces emotion despite all effort to set it aside".
Media outlets face very tight restrictions over what can be reported, and what can be shown on camera. Judges have ultimate control over what happens in the courtroom.
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23/09/2012 8:15:04 a.m.
amorangi tawhai wrote:
Well quite frankly - how judith collins *feels* about matters is not what she is getting paid as a public servant for. Since when did she become you do as i say end of minister. You are there to uphold what the public are paying you for - so just do the job and stop blighting on television.
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