Televising, court trials, legal apocalypse, interference, administration of justice
Four years ago an eminent Canadian jurist denounced the presence of a CBC television crew filming trial participants as they emerged from his courtroom at Osgoode Hall. Chief Justice G. A. Gale of the Ontario Supreme Court found the incident "quite offensive" and bid the crew to leave the hallway and the courthouse "because I was satisfied that their operations constituted an interference with the administration of justice." ' Four years later the Canadian position on the presence of news cameras in the courts and within its precincts has remained unaltered, unbending and, worst of all, uncontroverted. A blanket prohibition exists in every Canadian courtroom against the use for publication or otherwise of any news or still camera. Failure to heed the proscription invites the sting of contempt law and, one would assume, from the words of Chief Justice Gale, the eternal damnation of the Canadian judiciary.
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Lorne H. Abugov, “Televising Court Trials in Canada: We Stand on Guard for a Legal Apocalypse” (1979) 5:3 DLJ 694.