“Riot TV” Sparks Debate Over Cameras in Courtrooms

Premier Clark’s push to introduce cameras into BC courts has put a spotlight on the conflict between societal interests in seeing justice done and individuals’ privacy concerns. While the Supreme Court of Canada already allows televised hearings, the concept has received relatively little support in BC.

The emotions of the Vancouver riots last year sparked calls for justice, and a vow from Christy Clark that the rioters would not be allowed to remain anonymous.

Having cameras in the courtrooms poses problems for privacy. There is the concern that innocent accused can face social stigma from appearing in a trial. However, the values of justice and the public nature of the riots lend themselves to the public having a stake in the proceedings as well.

As this issue continues, it will be interesting to see how much of an impact it has on the court system in BC, as well as the political career of the Premier who is championing it.