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Friday, 21 August 2009

NSW Supreme Court justice Ian Gzell appeared briefly on TV last night wearing a wig. It wasn't reported, though. At least the appearance wasn't reported. Gzell was shown in the sentencing hearing handing down his judgement. I believe this is a first for Australian TV: a judge in camera and on screen at the same time.

The debate has been aired in the media, however. Queensland chief justice Paul de Jersey has uttered reservations about the practice of screening courtroom sessions, although I can't find the main story right now. Some remarks are included at the bottom a Queensland Times story about a recent hearing.

Lawyer argues against televising court cases

AN IPSWICH criminal defence lawyer has backed the Chief Justice's assessment regarding television cameras in court rooms, saying it could trivialise the justice system.

Queensland Chief Justice Paul de Jersey cautioned against televising court cases, questioning whether broadcasting verdicts and sentencing would bring transparency to the legal system.

Simone Healy said televising court proceedings brought a risk of intimidating witnesses or encouraging others to “play up” to the cameras.

Televising of court proceedings is widespread in America and TV cameras are also allowed in some courts in New Zealand.

Gzell was sworn in in January 2002.

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