When Oscar Pistorius’ trial for murder kicks off next week, it’ll be brought to you in glorious Pist-o-Vision with the “revolutionary new camera technology” that we’ve heard so little of. Judge Dunstan Mlambo has just ruled that broadcasters will be able to install remote cameras inside the courtroom ahead of next week’s proceedings, and can show live feeds of the
There are a few caveats. Only the opening remarks, prosecution witnesses and closing statements will be filmed. Pistorius’ own testimony and that of the defence witnesses are off limits. Prosecution witnesses will be given the option not to appear on camera too – although audio of the entire trial is allowed.
The application to install the cameras was brought by Multichoice and Eye Witness News last week and sets a precedent for South African legal proceedings. Multichoice will be broadcasting a 24 hour Pist-O-TV for the duration of the trial, which is expected to last for three weeks from 3rd March.
The case for installing cameras in court (as happens in the US) argues that it’s a landmark for open justice, allowing the legal process to be opened up for all to witness and see that justice is done without bias or inaccurate reporting.
The case against says that justice is not entertainment, and while the public might be interested in rubbernecking it doesn’t serve the public interest to sate that desire.
Whichever side you stand on (and I’m curious to know), the decision has been made. Now it remains to be seen how closely to the guidelines broadcasters stick.[Image – Shutterstock]