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Broadcasting of sentencing remarks in the Crown Court

The public will be able to see and hear judges explain the reasoning behind sentences, giving a better understanding of how their decisions are reached in the Crown Court. Sky, BBC, ITN and Press Association are able to apply to film and broadcast those sentencing remarks, with the judge in the case deciding whether to grant the request.

Prior to this, broadcasting was only permitted from the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Burnett of Maldon, hailed the move as a “very positive” step in promoting open justice.

He said: “It’s something that I was really keen should happen and I started working on it when I became Lord Chief Justice in 2017.

“The law was introduced in 2020. And we all hoped that we would start filming sentencing remarks in high-profile criminal cases in the summer of 2020 and were it not for Covid, that would have happened, but now it is happening.

“I think it’s an exciting development, because it will help the public to understand how and why criminals get the sentences that they do in these very high-profile cases.”

Bringing cameras to the Crown Court is a “significant development”, he said.

Only the judge will be filmed during sentencing to protect the privacy of victims, witnesses and jurors. The recorded sentencing remarks will be hosted by Sky News on a dedicated YouTube channel (external link).

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