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Courting publicity

Much chat today in chambers about the news that television cameras will be allowed into court. "It's about time," said OldSmoothie, who's always done the odd bit of TV punditry on the side. "Though I can't believe they're going to limit it to judges handing down sentences."

"You mean you can't believe that they won't give more airtime to publicity hounds such as yourself?" said BusyBody.

"Open the gates and the flood will follow," said HeadofChambers. "Showing only the judges will simply expose how ridiculous it was to have banned cameras in the first place."

"And I think OldSmoothie will likely get his chance for grandstanding in any event. You forget that he sits as a Recorder in the Crown Court every so often," said TheBusker.

"I was simply thinking that the Bar could do with all the exposure it can get in the present economic climate," said OldSmoothie. "There might even be commercial opportunities for taking adverts."

"Yes, I can see it now," said TheBusker. "The back of your gown like a football shirt emblazoned with your name and then I suppose you'll have a hologram or something clever with your website on it."

"And maybe commercial breaks where judges and barristers could read out adverts saying which washing powder they used to get their shirts so sparklingly white."

"Anyway, who says it'd be a bad thing to have the drama of court brought into the living room OJ Simpson-style," said OldSmoothie. "I mean, it's not as if most of these hearings aren't open to those members of the public who have the time to travel to court. So why shouldn't they also be available to those who can't afford to or who perhaps might not physically be able to make it there?"

"Because that's just another lame excuse to get your mug onto people's TV screens," said BusyBody. "What if the whole of a big trial was televised and the general public all thought the person was guilty but a jury disagreed? An innocent person's life might be destroyed in the name of so-called transparency of justice."

"Which is why it'll be limited to sentencing and the like," said HeadofChambers.
"You know, in my day, barristers didn't even talk to the press, never mind appear on television," said OldRuin.

"Well, you know what they say," said TheVamp. "All self-publicity is good publicity."

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