(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
CC/ P.I.S./ 493-E
A Report on the Audiovisual Coverage of the ICTY's Proceedings finds
that Cameras contribute to a proper Administration of Justice.
Report concludes also that ICTY’s policy could be adopted by
other international judicial proceedings, including the Lockerbie trial
The Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Ms. Dorothee de Sampayo, was presented today with the first copy of a Report on the impact of cameras at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
The Report was compiled by Dr. Paul Mason, Co-ordinator of the Centre for Media and Justice (CMJ) at the Southampton Institute (United Kingdom), following 18 months of research. Based on interviews at the ICTY with Judges, counsels for the Prosecution and the Defence, and a number of Registry staff members, Dr. Mason’s research focused on the use of in-house audio-visual equipment in the courtrooms of the ICTY, and more specifically, on the potential impact of the cameras’ presence on the participants in the proceedings and on the administration of justice.
The findings of the Report suggest that court participants’ behaviour is not significantly affected by the presence of cameras in court. Moreover, the use of cameras in legal proceedings, provided that they are operated under strict guidelines, has a positive effect on the administration of justice, and helps international justice to be seen to be done.
The research concludes that the ICTY’s policy of "gavel-to-gavel" audio-visual coverage of its public hearings could be successfully adopted by other international judicial proceedings, including the Lockerbie case.
THE REPORT’S MAIN CONCLUSIONS
There was a general consensus that court participants are not affected by cameras in court. This was true in both self-assessment and in evaluation of the impact of cameras upon other court participants. Respondents unanimously agreed that cameras in Tribunal courtrooms perform three primary functions: to promote the Tribunal’s workings; to provide a full and accurate court record; and to enable trials to be archived. Respondents considered the in-house television coverage of Tribunal proceedings to have the necessary sobriety and neutrality. The vast majority of respondents suggested cameras have a positive effect, or no effect, on the administration of justice. Cameras can inform the international community of the workings of the Tribunal whilst ensuring a transparent and fair system of justice is in operation. It was suggested by many that the audio visual policy of the Tribunal could be successfully adopted by other international judicial proceedings, including the Lockerbie trial. There was uncertainty concerning televising domestic court proceedings
BACKGROUND ON Dr. PAUL MASONAND THE CENTRE FOR MEDIA AND JUSTICE
Dr. Paul Mason studied law at Southampton University before completing a doctoral thesis on the representation of punishment in popular culture. As Co-ordinator of the Centre for Media and Justice at Southampton Institute, he is undertaking further research concerning electronic broadcasts of court proceedings in the European Union.
The Centre for Media and Justice, was set up within the Law Faculty at Southampton Institute (United Kingdom) to explore, through research, the interaction between media and the law. Its current interest is the audio-visual coverage of legal proceedings. The Centre was responsible for the first major European conference on electronic broadcast coverage of court proceedings Cameras in Court in February 1999.
BACKGROUND ON THE AUDIOVISUAL COVERAGE OF ICTY PROCEEDINGS
The audio-visual recording of the proceedings at the ICTY was decided by the Judges as early as 1994 for three main reasons: to make sure that justice would be seen to be done, to dispel any misunderstandings that might otherwise arise as to the role and the nature of the Tribunal proceedings and to fulfill the educational task of the Tribunal.
Each courtroom is equipped with six remote-controlled and silent cameras that record the proceedings both for archiving and media purposes. Only recordings of public hearings are made available to the media
Following strict instructions ensuring a full, balanced, fair and accurate account of the public hearings, the audio-visual staff select pictures from the six cameras on a full and live basis. This footage is fed to the media with a short delay (30 minutes) in a technical room installed in the lobby of the Tribunal.
This footage is made available to the media on a free-of-charge basis.
Dr. Paul Mason can be contacted at the Centre for Media and Justice.
Phone number: 00.44.2380.319.627
e-mail: paul.mason [at] solent.ac.uk
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
For more information, please contact our Media Office in The Hague
Tel.: +31-70-512-8752; 512-5343; 512-5356 - Email: press [at] icty.org ()
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