The first Court of Appeal case to be live-streamed in full on the web will start this week, giving the public unprecedented screen access to the workings of the justice system. The Judicial Office announced today that it will stream proceedings through its website from Thursday as part of a pilot scheme for the new service.
The case selected is the dispute between West Ham United and E20, the tenant and manager of the former Olympic Stadium, which now hosts the team’s home games. The dispute has arisen over the seating capacity which should be made available for matches at the Stratford site.
Sir Terence Etherton, master of the rolls, who will preside over the case along with Lord Justice Lewison and Lady Justice Asplin. said the intention is to start with this case and build up to three appeal hearings being live-streamed in the near future.
‘We hope that as well as opening up the court’s work to a mass audience, the broadcasts will increase public confidence in the system,’ he said. ‘This is an exciting way of opening up our courts to help the public understand and see for themselves the way that courts work, and how appeals are heard. The first case is a high profile one with a great deal of public interest, which is why it has been selected for the public pilot.’
Live-streaming has been possible for Supreme Court hearings for many years, and since 2013 certain proceedings in the Court of Appeal have been selected by the media for filming and broadcast. This will be the first streaming of a full hearing.
The image broadcast will be of a split screen, with simultaneous broadcast of the judicial bench and the front rows of counsel in the case.
Proceedings are subject to a short delay, to allow for a case to be halted to ensure that an inadvertent breach of a reporting restriction is not broadcast.
If the pilot is successful, the master of the rolls will seek an amendment of a statutory instrument to enable family appeals to be live-streamed, a move supported by senior family judges.