A judge has joined forces with the local press to ensure that the coronavirus does not halt coverage of court cases in Norwich.
The Eastern Daily Press (EDP) and Norwich Evening News are working with Judge Anthony Bate to set up live streaming of Norwich Crown Court proceedings via Skype.
Following guidance from the Lord Chief Justice earlier this week, trials have currently been halted to ensure precautions can be taken in light of the spread of coronavirus. The Society of Editors has called on Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to ensure that open justice continues and that safe access to proceedings are maintained for journalists throughout this period.
Proceedings before a judge, without a jury, are still permissible and a reporter from the EDP will now be able to watch the coverage remotely and report on behalf of the public.
David Powles, Editor of the EDP and Norwich Evening News said: “This was down to the work of our Correspondents Editor Steve Downes and Norfolk’s Judge Bate, who is a big supporter of both the EDP and open justice and was keen to ensure that the principle is upheld during these unprecedented times.
“If courts are to remain partially opened, it’s vital that justice continues to not only be done, but seen to be done. It’s also vital that is done in a safe way that doesn’t risk the safety of anyone.
“Norfolk Crown Court deserve praise for this action and I would urge other courts to follow suit.”