We haven’t really covered the ‘Phone Hacking’ trial for the same reason that we didn’t look at the Lee Rigby case whilst it was ongoing. When it is finished, we shall certainly take a longer look at it.
One thing we did look at last year was the televising of the Court of Appeal and whether this could truly be considered to be ‘Open Justice’.
Well, on 14th January 2014 those two issues came together (slightly) with the release of some of the CCTV footage from the Phone Hacking trial. This is not that unusual (although it often happens at the end of a trial), but makes following what is happening in the Old Bailey that little bit easier.
It is also, in this technological age, a pretty straightforward exercise. And, without wishing to sound too critical, just shows how much more could be done to make the criminal courts more accessible to the public.
Another case from the last week shows the way. The Mark Duggan inquest was a model of transparency. If you go on to their website there is almost all of the evidence there to read, along with transcripts of the evidence as it unfolded. That is a brilliant resource, and should be followed by the criminal courts. It is long, long overdue.
Of course, whilst we say ‘the public’ as if this is some disinterested group, you are paying for what happens there and the proceedings are being taken in your name, you have every right to know what is going on.