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Royal Courts of Justice chiefs in security crackdown to beat terror threat

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But crisis looms over fire extinguisher shortfall

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In this era of heightened terror threats, it is reassuring to see staff at London’s Royal Courts of Justice are taking no chances.

Security supremos at the George Edmund Street-designed building have clearly got their heads round one of the country’s most serious dangers — lawyers carrying coins, keys and mobile phones towards the walls of an 1870s structure. Evidence of the ramped up security measures was today sent to the Legal Cheek tip-off line.

Sadly, however, the health and safety brigade at The Strand building — which houses civil and criminal courts of appeal — have rather let the side down on the fire extinguisher front.

There will be reams of H&S advisory notes detailing the importance of having two fully operational devices within no more than two feet of an electronic scanner wall protection apparatus. However, in this instance, it is clear that only one extinguisher is in place.

Heads will undoubtedly roll.

8 Comments

Mark

Isn’t it an offence to take a photo inside a court building?

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Jimbob

Legal Cheek might want to acquaint itself with s. 41 of the Criminal Justice Act 1925.

(1) No person shall—
(a) take or attempt to take in any court any photograph, or with a view to publication make or attempt to make in any court any portrait or sketch, of any person, being a judge of the court or a juror or a witness in or a party to any proceedings before the court, whether civil or criminal; or
(b) publish any photograph, portrait or sketch taken or made in contravention of the foregoing provisions of this section or any reproduction thereof;
and if any person acts in contravention of this section be shall, on summary conviction, be liable in respect of each offence to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

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Anonymous

Err… the photograph, portrait or sketch has to be “of any person”, no? And one might add that the corridor of the court complex isn’t a “court” either: hence why the people who do the sketches of criminal trials that sometimes appear on the news can’t draw them in court, but can step out into the corridor and draw immediately from memory.

So it is, fortunately, not a crime to take pictures of the walls inside the RCJ, if that’s your notion of cutting edge journalism.

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Jimbob

Respectfully disagree – the ‘or’ is disjunctive, creating a separate set of circumstances to which the provisions of ‘sketch’ or ‘portrait’ relate. Also, if you read on, s. 41(2)(c) covers photography in court precincts:

(c) a photograph, portrait or sketch shall be deemed to be a photograph, portrait or sketch taken or made in court if it is taken or made in the court-room or in the building or in the precincts of the building in which the court is held, or if it is a photograph, portrait or sketch taken or made of the person while he is entering or leaving the court-room or any such building or precincts as aforesaid.

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sosr

S 41(2)(c) needs to be read regarding your point about the building:

“(c) a photograph, portrait or sketch shall be deemed to be a photograph, portrait or sketch taken or made in court if it is taken or made in the court–room or in the building or in the precincts of the building in which the court is held, or if it is a photograph, portrait or sketch taken or made of the person while he is entering or leaving the court–room or any such building or precincts as aforesaid.”

It doesn’t have to be a picture of a person either. Just a photograph taken with a view to publication.

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Anonymous

Slow news day today, LC?

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Anonymous

RCJ does have signs saying no photography, but at same time, this is hardly the first time LC or another similar outfit has published a photo taken inside a court building. Photos have been published of silly signs within mags buildings, as well as the controversy over the signage for “Advocates’ Robing Room” vs “Ladies’ Robing Room”.
I rather doubt any of those incidents, or even this picture (which does not affect operational security of the complex or violate anyone’s privacy) would raise alarm bells.

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Anonymous

There are so many guidelines on how many fire extinguishers are required to be place here or there. Businesses must ensure they cover themselves by getting the best advice possible for experts in the fire safety sector. http://www.firecomply.com is one of those expert organisations. We’d love to help you…

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