Irish courts poised for cameras

THE IRISH Republic's Law Reform Commission has recommended that court proceeding be televised.

But the commission warns of “dangers and difficulties” in letting television cameras in and suggests it should be done on a pilot basis and carefully monitored.

The commission, an independent body headed by a High Court judge which makes recommendations to the Government, says in its latest report: “There may be a significant public benefit to be gained from exposing the detailed workings of the administrations of justice to everyone within reach of a television set.”

It says this would lessen the remoteness of court proceedings from the general public. But the commission also accepts that televising the courts could deter some from attending and could inhibit witnesses in their testimony.

“Reaction to recent cases in the US suggests that unless the televising is either prohibited or curtailed, there could be serious prejudice to pending trials, significant invasion of privacy and the televising at inappropriate times of material which many would find offensive,” it says.

However, the commission recommends the establishment of an advisory service to devise and monitor pilot projects in civil and criminals trials, as well as tribunals.