Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Twice Told Tuesday

This week will see several articles on photographs and the law in Shades Of The Departed. In this "Twice Told Tuesday" we learn what you may and may not photograph in a court of law in England in 1926.

Photographs In Courts of Law
The Amateur Photographer & Photography
April 28, 1926

As from June 1st, when the Criminal Justice Act of last year comes into force, it will be a punishable offence to take or attempt to take a photograph in a Court of Justice of the judge (including recorder, magistrate, justice or coroner) or of any of the jurors, witnesses, or parties in any proceeding before the Court.

The punishment provided by the Act is a fine not exceeding £50. Publication of a photograph taken in contravention of the new provision is similarly punishable. The law applies equally to all Courts, civil as well as criminal, including coroners' courts.

The prohibition is very wide and covers not only the actual court room, but also the whole building in which the court room is situated, and the precincts of the building. The persons protected may not be photographed while they are entering or leaving either the court room or the building or its precincts, nor while waiting about in the immediate neighbourhood of the court or building.

Photographing the court room or building themselves as such is no prohibited, but it will be advisable to do this only when the Court is not sitting.

While the Act only applies in terms to photographing the persons specified above, it will be extremely inadvisable to attempt to use a camera in any circumstances or for any purpose in a Court of Justice while the Court is sitting.


W. Thoday, L.L.B.. "Photographs in Courts of Law." The Amateur Photographer & Photography, April 1926, 23.

Dan Hopper - J.J. Payne Photographer. Photograph. ca. Not Researched. Digital image. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Preston, Washington. 2007


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