The Ministry of Justice has announced that Crown Court sentencing remarks will be broadcast for the first time from tomorrow (28 July 2022).

Commenting, Mark Fenhalls QC, Chair of the Bar Council, said:

“The Bar Council welcomes this decision which will help build confidence in an open and fair justice system. The public will now be able to see and hear how judges apply laws passed by Parliament and Sentencing Council Guidelines and understand the reasons for a particular sentence.

“This is a new scheme being brought in after careful piloting and the judiciary and the Government will want to see its effect and how this helps build confidence and understanding in the justice system before future steps are taken.

“If the scheme is expanded there may be concerns about how people react to having cameras on them and it’s important that the Crown Court never becomes a source of entertainment or fodder for social media memes.

“For now, we hope this move will help shine a light on the system and give people more confidence that they understand how and why it works in the way it does.”