In what has been described as a ‘landmark moment’; cameras have been permitted into one of the highest courts in the country; with footage being streamed live as it happens. And what’s more, an appeal against conviction for a client of Farleys is one of the first cases to be heard!
From today, cameras have been allowed in the Court of Appeal in London. During this initial trial, lawyers’ arguments and judges’ comments will be broadcast, but appellants, witnesses and victims will not be shown. Cameras are not yet permitted in crown courts and magistrates’ courts.
Listed fourth in court 4 today is a client of Farleys’ highly respected Fraud and Business Crime Department, Roshan Ara Hussain. Charged with taking part on one of the UK’s largest VAT fraud cases, Operation Inertia, the case against our client was dropped during the Crown Court trial last year. Today’s hearing is an appeal of a secondary and much less serious charge of which she was convicted; conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
The broadcasting of footage from the Court of Appeal comes as the result of many years of campaigning by a number of news organisations, including the BBC and ITN. Cameras are already permitted in court rooms in Scotland, but have been banned (with the exception of the UK Supreme Court) in England since the introduction of the Criminal Justice Act 1925.
This is an historic moment in the lifetime of our justice system. Although courts are open public forums, and members of the public can go and sit in the court at will, the reality is that this rarely happens; meaning the courtroom is often shrouded in mystery to the general public.
The fact that the events of the courtroom can now be accessed by anyone anywhere makes the justice system open and transparent to all.
By Paul Schofield, Head of Fraud and Business Crime