1. All film, photographs and recordings taken of courtroom proceedings that are used or published must provide or assist in providing an accurate, fair and balanced report of the hearing, and must not be used or published out of context.
2. Applications for in-court media coverage are to be dealt with expeditiously and fairly and that so far as possible like cases are to be treated alike.
3. In making decisions and exercising discretions under these guidelines, the court may have regard to the following matters:
1. For the purposes of these guidelines:
court means the Court of Appeal or the High Court or the District Court, or any other Court or Tribunal that adopts these guidelines.
film includes videotape and other forms of digital storage of moving images.
high profile trial means a trial likely to attract more than five media representatives through much of the trial.
Judge includes an Associate Judge of the High Court.
media applicant means a member of the media who has applied under these guidelines to cover a trial.
Media and Courts Committee means the committee of judicial and media representatives set up by the Chief Justice.
member of the media means:
official witness means:
publish means disseminate to the public in any form (and published and publication have corresponding meanings).
record means to audio record (and recorded and recording have corresponding meanings).
sexual case means a proceeding in respect of an offence against any of sections 128 to 142A and 144A of the Crimes Act 1961.
standard conditions mean:
video camera means any device capable of filming a trial and includes a television camera.
witness includes the defendant in a criminal proceeding.
witness applicant means a witness who has made an application under guideline 11.
witness protection means protection as defined in guideline 10(3).
2. Where any word or expression in any rule or form in these guidelines is not defined in these guidelines but is defined in the High Court Rules, it has the meaning given to it in those rules, unless the context otherwise requires.
1. All matters relating to in-court media coverage are at the discretion of the court.
1. No-one other than members of the media may make a record in court, whether that record be in the form of notes or film or recording, unless given permission by the Judge.
2. No-one other than members of the media may make an electronic communication from inside the courtroom to outside the courtroom.
3. Any such record-taking or communication must be done as unobtrusively as possible and in such a manner as not to interfere in any way with the running of the trial.
4. While the Judge is sitting in court for chambers or in closed court, no electronic communication may take place.
5. Information taken or communicated electronically must not be published or be the subject of any publication until at least 10 minutes have elapsed.
6. Despite subclause (5), information communicated electronically may be published or be the subject of publication immediately or at any time:
7. Copies of all publications of information obtained from court must be retained until the conclusion of the trial or disposition of any subsequent appeal or any related proceedings, and for a further 12 months. A copy must be supplied to the court if requested by the Judge or the Media and Courts Committee.
1. Any person who wishes to cover a trial must apply to the court where the trial is to take place in the prescribed form (see Media Information).
2. Any such application should be filed with the registrar of the court at least 10 working days before the trial is due to start, except in relation to a first appearance in a criminal matter. Applications for District Court criminal trials must be must at least three working days before the trial. For more information, see Appendix D.
3. Any application, except one in relation to a first appearance in a criminal matter, lodged inside five working days before the trial must contain an explanation for the delay and the reasons why it should be granted despite the delay.
4. On receipt of an application, the registrar must refer it promptly to the trial Judge (or presiding Judge in the case of the Court of Appeal).
5. If the trial is a sexual case, counsel for the Crown must provide a copy of the application to the complainant and obtain his or her views about it.
6. In relation to District Court hearings and trials which do not involve a jury, the application must be made as soon as practicable after the hearing is scheduled.
1. Within three working days of receipt of an application, any counsel or party receiving it must notify the registrar, the applicant and the other parties in writing that:
2. In sexual cases, the Crown must notify the registrar of the complainant’s views about the application.
1. A Judge presiding over a high profile trial may hold a conference with counsel and media applicants prior to the trial to ensure that the trial can be conducted with the involvement of the media, without misunderstandings, mistakes or delays.
1. A Judge may grant or decline any application on the papers.
2. If the Judge considers it appropriate that there be a hearing of the application, the Judge may make directions and set a date and time for hearing.
3. At any hearing, the applicant may appear in person, by a representative or by counsel.
4. The parties may appear in person or by counsel.
5. In considering any application, the Judge may have regard to:
6. The Judge determining the application may:
1. Except in the case of the defendant or an official witness (who may apply under guideline 11), witness protection from being filmed, photographed or recorded is available as of right in a criminal trial for any witness who seeks it.
2. Witness protection under this rule may be sought by notification to the presiding Judge at any time prior to the witness commencing to give evidence.
3. Witness protection means that the applicant:
4. Before any witness is called the person calling that witness must advise the court that that witness understands witness protection and has chosen whether or not to be filmed.
5. This protection is also available to victims reading victim impact statements.
1. This guideline applies to witnesses in criminal trials not covered by guideline 10 and to all witnesses in civil trials.
2. Any witness or the party proposing to call the witness may apply by written application to the registrar of the court in which the trial is to be held for a ruling that the witness not be filmed, photographed or recorded.
3. The application must be lodged at least two working days before the trial is due to start provided:
4. Where a written application is made under this rule, the applicant must promptly notify all other parties and any person seeking or granted authority to cover the trial.
5. On an application under this guideline, the Judge may hear from the applicant, the parties, and any person seeking or granted authority to cover the trial, but is not obliged, in the case of an application made during the trial, to defer ruling on the application because any person covering the trial is not present.
6. In considering the application, the Judge may have regard to:
7. The Judge may rule that:
8. Where the Judge makes a ruling under subclause (7)(a), authority to cover the trial is subject to that ruling.
9. Where the Judge makes a ruling in terms of subclause (7)(a)(i) or (ii), the video camera must be either removed from the court while the witness is giving evidence or turned away from the witness so that it is apparent to the witness that he or she is not being filmed.
1. No persons under the age of 18 shall be filmed, photographed or recorded. The Judge has a discretion to permit such filming, photographing or recording, but shall have regard to the effect of publicity on the child or young person’s present and future welfare, and the factors in guideline 11(6).
1. Any Corrections officer or security officer who appears, other than persons employed by the Ministry of Justice, may apply by written application to the registrar of the court in which the trial is to be held, for a ruling that the person not be filmed, photographed or recorded.
2. The procedure and factors set out in guideline 11 will apply.
1. An authority granted to cover a trial is subject to any statutory prohibition or court ordered prohibition on the publication of names or particulars or evidence under the Criminal Procedure Act 2011(external link) or otherwise.
2. When there is such a prohibition the witness cannot be photographed, filmed or recorded, without permission of the Judge.
1. The Judge may at any time revoke authority to cover a trial if:
1. Media representatives must comply with the directions in the Ministry of Justice Media Guide, in particular media identification and courtroom etiquette which are set out in Schedule 5 of these guidelines.
2. The conditions on which authority to cover a trial are granted are minimum conditions.
3. The applicant, and those acting on behalf of the applicant, must at all times ensure that they do not commit contempt. In particular, they must ensure that they:
1. Any written application or response under these guidelines may be delivered, posted, or emailed.
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