When the UK Supreme Court was established in 2009, with the capacity to broadcast its proceedings, I wondered when the Irish Supreme Court would follow suit, and televise its proceedings too. Today, I have the beginnings of an answer. This morning, the Supreme Court televised its proceedings for the first time, when it broadcast the delivery of two judgments. That broadcast should be available, for the next few days at least, via the RTE Player.
Chief Justice Clarke said that the move was aimed at “demystifying” the courts process, and allowing people to “see how their highest court operates”. He also described the move as a “baby step” which could lead to wider filming of the courts in the future. I hope that it will not be long before the Supreme Court routinely broadcasts its proceedings as its UK counterpart does, and there is certainly potential for the broadcast of proceedings of other courts too. The Irish Times said:
The live broadcasting of court proceedings has been discussed for years but the impetus for it has been attributed to a meeting five years ago between Ms Denham and then RTÉ deputy director general Kevin Bakhurst. Since his appointment as Chief Justice last July, Mr Justice Clarke has been keen to advance the project, and his involvement and support was a crucial factor.
This is an excellent start, but a lot more needs to be done. As Article 34.1 of the Constitution tells us, justice is administered in public. In this day and age, the broadcast of the Supreme Court’s proceedings should be the norm, and the sooner that is so, the better.