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4 November 2013
The move is the first since cameras were banned in 1925. The Law Lords ruled that the English have a right to view trials — although they don't have a right to own the television in the first place, until they pay the annual £100 tax.
Cameras with full swivel and zoom lenses will be installed throughout England and Northern Ireland. The ruling does not apply in Scotland, where trials have been televised since 1992, but only with the consent of all parties, which all parties are rarely all sober enough to provide. Wales will also be exempted, as both plaintiffs and defendants tend to be hideously ugly.
British suspects were generally confused as to how to conduct themselves on-camera, despite the plethora of anti-terrorism cameras on the nation's High Streets, and now in the check-out queues at Tesco. In view of this, Prime Minister David Cameron sent for several experts from the television capital of the world. Famous Hollywood jurists Judge Judy, Judge Wapner of The People's Court, and Fox News's Judge Andrew Napolitano were invited to fly here to preside over the first televised trials. The minstrel who chanted, "Here come da judge" on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In declined Mr Cameron's invitation to participate as he is, unfortunately, deceased. However, American shuck-and-jive barrister Johnny Cochran will stand in for him in the first courtroom chorus line, reprising his signature couplet, "If the glove don't fit / You must acquit."
His partner, publicity-happy Judge Lance Ito, will tend an open sidebar during the trial, where the defendant will be Mrs Harriet Pratt of Lansdowne, Bucks, who stands accused of criminal possession of an untaxed television. The Prime Minister said, "We view irony as a key ingredient in any theatrical production."
- Staff "Top 5 televised courtroom moments from across the world". London Telegraph, October 31, 2013
- Steve Hawkes "Tesco to scan queuing shoppers' features for advertisers". London Telegraph, November 3, 2013