Televised criminal trials could needlessly put witnesses in danger, some of Scotland’s best known lawyers have warned.
Donald Findlay QC and solicitor Aamer Anwar were among those who gave evidence to MSPs investigating the role of the media in reporting on the criminal justice system.
The Justice Committee convened at Holyrood on Tuesday to hear evidence on whether social media and television should be allowed greater access to courts.
STV’s digital news editor Matt Roper and Helen Arnot head of legal and regulatory affairs will be questioned by members of the committee.
STV was the first media organisation in Scotland to request Twitter coverage of a court sentencing when it successfully applied for journalists to tweet from the High Court hearing where former MSP Tommy Sheridan was jailed for perjury. Earlier this year the digital media company was granted permission to film the sentencing of Suzanne Pilley’s killer David Gilroy and broadcast it the same day.
The committee also heard from BBC Scotland’s former principal solicitor Alistair Bonnington, Donald Findlay QC, criminal defence lawyer Aamer Anwar and Detective Chief Superintendent John Cuddihy, from the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland.
Crown Office director of casework David Harvie, former Times Scotland editor Magnus Linklater, Alan McCloskey, from Victim Support Scotland, former police officer and law campaigner Iain McKie and editor of The Firm law website Steven Raeburn were also be questioned by MSPs on the committee.