UK cameras allowed to legally broadcast from the Crown Court

Television cameras will be allowed to broadcast judges’ sentencing from Crown Courts in England and Wales for the first time today, following draft legislation due to be laid by the government.

UK Cameras Crown Courts

What is the Crown Court (Recording and Broadcasting) Order 2020?

The Crown Court (Recording and Broadcasting) Order 2020 allows cameras to broadcast the sentencing remarks of High Court and Senior Circuit judges in some of the most high-profile courts across the country, including the Old Bailey.

Following a successful three-month pilot that allowed not-for-broadcast sentencing remarks to be filmed in eight Crown Courts, draft legislation due to be laid today (16 January 2020) now means that:

  • judges’ sentencing remarks will be broadcast
  • the public will be able to watch the full sentencing remarks of any case broadcast online

Proceedings are currently broadcast from certain Court of Appeal cases and filming is also permitted in the Supreme Court (though carried out by the court itself and separate from this contract), however today’s draft legislation extends this to the Crown Court, meaning the public will be able to hear judges explain the reasons behind their sentences for the most serious offences.

Will there be any restrictions to filming?

Yes. Some of the filming and broadcasting restrictions are as follows:

  • Filming will be restricted to sentencing remarks only and no other court user will be filmed, including victims, witnesses, jurors and court staff.
  • Broadcasters will only be able to film High Court and Senior Circuit judges sitting in the Crown Court and will need to obtain permission from the judiciary in advance.
  • Filming will be subject to the usual reporting restrictions and appropriately edited before leaving the courtroom. In the case where filming is to be broadcast live, there will be a short delay before broadcast to avoid any breach of reporting restrictions or any other error.
  • HMCTS will retain copyright of the footage, and HMCTS, MoJ and Judicial Office will be able to access any footage taken by broadcasters.

Justice Secretary & Lord Chancellor, Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP, said: “This government, alongside the judiciary, is committed to improving public understanding of our justice system and allowing cameras into the Crown Court will do just that. It will ensure our courts remain open and transparent and allow people to see justice being delivered to the most serious of offenders.”

See also

Gazette notices

Body-worn cameras to be compulsory for bailiffs amid fears of debtor bullying

Online probate service expanded in national trial


Find out more

Courts, sentencing and tribunals (

Publication date: 16 January 2020