18 Apr 2012

Television in court: “a wee bit Jeremy Kyle”?

Never a man to accept the status quo, it felt right to see the statue of Joseph Hume, the radical Scottish politician, outside Edinburgh’s High Court today of all days.

He’d probably have approved the use of TV to show justice being dispensed today. No doubt he’d have argued the nice distinction between justice dispensed and justice done – but let that lie.

All around him bemused tour guides and guided on the Royal Mile wandered around the TV satellite trucks asking why the fuss? I fear our explanations failed to excite.

Inside court, the shouts of “die”, “rot” and “tell us where the body is” were not picked up or allowed to be picked up on the TV feed, as the convicted man was confronted with the mandatory life sentence.

It is not the first time the workings of a Scottish court have been shown on TV – but it is the cameras have captured for same-day broadcast the sentencing of a murderer.

The helpful lady from the Courts Service said she doubted we’ll ever see full trials on camera and many would sigh with relief at that. As one prominent Edinburgh lawyer told C4News:

“It could all get a wee bit Jeremy Kyle, you know.”

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