New Project: Full reporting of a murder trial

The decline of court reporting over the last 25 years has been described as a “threat to justice”. Local newspapers may not have the staff or resources to cover a trial in depth and the national press, TV and radio are naturally interested only in the most important or topical cases. Most court reports in […]

A Brief History of Cameras in Court

Earlier this month Sky, ITN and the BBC lobbied the government to allow cameras in court. The hope is that criminal trials could be televised as early as early as 2015. The ban on taking photographs goes back to 1925 but even before then cameras had to be smuggled into courtrooms in hats or bags. […]

Stenography and Charles Dickens

This week the BBC reported – in its own strange way – that court proceedings will be digitally recorded instead of taken down by dedicated stenographers. This could be said to bring an end to a tradition going back to the 17th Century. It’s also quite a sad goodbye to a profession that has included […]

21st Century Court Reporting

Reports that legal history had been made by a judge allowing the use of Twitter in open court for an extradition hearing in London sparked a few earth-shattering predictions. Was this the end of court reporting as we know it? Could this be ‘possibly the final nail in the coffin of shorthand’? Will court hearings soon be televised? […]

The Identity of Jon Venables

How many people know Jon Venables’ new identity? Well, for a start, everybody who was in court 14 of the Old Bailey last Friday morning. Given the number of times we were told his life was under threat, it was a big surprise to hear the name he adopted in 2001 being read out by the […]