A new YouTube star is born: Court of Appeal to be live-streamed

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‘Revolutionary’ proposal will mean even family cases could be broadcast live

Cases which have grabbed the public’s attention such as the Alfie Evans case could be watched live on YouTube, the Judicial Office confirmed today.

Proposals put forward by the Master of the Rolls, Sir Terence Etherton, are afoot that could see the Court of Appeal’s civil cases being live-streamed on the video giant’s website.

There is no current ban on non-family cases being broadcast (cameras have been allowed in since 2013) but this new proposal would enable the court itself to live-stream, much as the Supreme Court does now.

This is the latest in a line of initiatives in which the judiciary is opening up justice. Legal Cheek reported circuit judges taking to vlogging to show a behind-the-scenes look at life as a judge. And when the new Lord Chief Justice made his maiden speech, it was on YouTube that he made it.

The live-streaming would cover judges’ comments and lawyers’ arguments not witness testimony.

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The latest proposal needs official approval first, however. A spokesperson told Legal Cheek that “the Master of the Rolls will consult the Lord Chancellor” and will also need to request an amendment to the current rules preventing the recording and broadcasting of family cases heard in the Court of Appeal.

Etherton told The Times (£) today:

“It’s revolutionary. I am so excited about it because I think it’s exactly what we’re trying to do here . . . we all believe in open justice and the effect of transparency to enable the public to have confidence in what we’re doing.”

If it gains the official stamp, the initiative could go live as early as October of this year. How will its subscriber numbers compare to the UK’s Supreme Court whose YouTube channel has over 7,000 subscribers? In the famous Article 50 judgment, viewers almost reached 10,000; though it has to be said that some of the less attention-grabbing cases are only watched by a few hundred viewers.

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Not Amused

We need to let journalists in to the Family Courts. Most Family practitioners will tell you that at first instance level “it’s a lottery” or “it depends on the judge”.

That is an admission that the system is broken. If we keep not letting the journalists see a broken system then really – we’re all complicit in this.


What even

Ah yes, those trustworthy journalists whose intentions are to solely report on the immediately available facts and no way have been shown to approach their topics in the way best suited to advancing their own agenda or the agenda of their respective employers (either as a result of internal policies to to curry favour with management)…

I’m sure that none of us can wait to read the exculpatory findings of Leveson 2.0… Oh wait.



Ah yes, the freedom of the press to report…only those facts that have been approved by both parties’ lawyers beforehand, and no editing. No selectivity or purpose allowed at all, exactly like the even-handed and impartial lawyers striving only for the just result while running their clients’ cases.

But wait for the prosecution of those devious journalists! They’ll all be banged up…oh, wait.



Journalists are permitted in the Family Court. There will be reporting restrictions in terms of the parties names and children, but the rest is open for reporting. Judgments from the High Court and above are also published.



Celebrity judges, who wants them?



But one cannot live stream oneself outside the courts?



Shut it Tommy.



Isn’t the Alfie Evans case a family case..?



Good, hopefully will lead to them raising their game.


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