An interesting one released today by the ALP is a plan to webcast court cases!
This report in The Age has a snippet from morning radio where Mr Brumby says he hasn’t yet spoken to the judiciary about this proposal.
I suspect it might take some fine-tuning before it becomes a reality.
In June I discussed contempt of court made out by filming or photographing inside a court room, albeit without the court’s permission. (Presumably, webcasting would only occur with the approval of the presiding judicial officer.) Similarly, publication of a court case can in some instances be a contempt — specifically sub judice (Latin for ‘before a judge’), which is a particular form or sub-category of contempt. But, the publication must usually have ‘a real and definite tendency to prejudice or embarrass pending proceedings’: Hinch v Attorney-General (Vic) (1987) 164 CLR 15 at 34. Publication is generally permitted, unless statutory provisions provide otherwise, such as Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 s 534 or, particularly, Judicial Proceedings Reports Act 1958 s 3.
That last provision would result in pretty careful scrutiny by judicial officers of what happens in the courtroom, and what things should or shouldn’t be streamed. At least on a practical level, I imagine they might not welcome one more thing to concentrate on when managing their courtrooms.