Cameras roll for first time in UK Court of Appeal

A still taken from the video feed of the first filming of a court case from the Court of Appeal in London.  Picture: PA

Broadcasting history was made yesterday as cameras were allowed to film in one of the highest courts in Britain for the first time.

The ringleader of a coin-forging scam — represented by the prime minister’s brother Alex Cameron QC — failed in his bid to appeal against his sentence during the first proceedings to be broadcast in the Court of Appeal.

Filmed after the near 90-year ban on allowing cameras in court was lifted, Lord Justice Pitchford refused an application to appeal against Kevin Fisher’s seven-year jail term for his role in what is believed to be the largest ever plot to make fake pound coins in the UK.

James Harding, BBC director of news and current affairs, said: “This is a landmark moment for justice and journalism.

“It is a significant step on the way to helping millions of viewers gain a greaterunderstanding of how our judicial system works.”

Asked how he felt about being the first barrister to appear on camera at the Court of Appeal, Mr Cameron said: “It’s surprising.”

Speaking as the judges retired to consider the application, he added: “I only found out yesterday it was happening.”

Mr Cameron declined to comment further after the application was refused.

His brother prime minister David Cameron said: “I couldn’t help notice that the barrister in the case wasactually my brother, which was a surprise to me this morning, as I think it was a surprise to him.

“It’s very quiet, it’s very ordered, it’s very reasonable. So I said to my brother perhaps he would like to do a job swap for a day.

“But I think it’s an important thing. Open justice, open government is a good thing and I think to start in the Court of Appeal is right.”

Yesterday was the first time cameras were allowed in courts other than the Supreme Court since filming was banned by the Criminal Justice Act 1925.

After years of campaigning by broadcasters BBC, ITN, Press Association and Sky News, cameras have been placed in five courtrooms at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Lawyers’ arguments and judges’ summing up, decisions and — in criminal cases — sentencing remarks may be filmed but victims, witnesses and defendants will not be filmed.


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