Why Recording CCTV is Illegal in These Courthouses

Author: Carlton Purvis, Published on Mar 13, 2014

Americans expect to see surveillance cameras inside government buildings, especially courtrooms where emotions run high, violent criminals are being transported back and forth, and there’s always an air of unfinished business. In some parts of Canada, however, recording is prohibited in courthouses -- and that’s not just a ban for media, it includes CCTV. In this note, we examine the recent attention focused on Ontario courts after citizens noticed a dome camera in one courtroom.

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Camera *** **** **** ********* ******“What we were really looking for when we did the court renovation was a one-way window that would be sufficient for the officer to work and to view the courtroom. This was actually a cheaper alternative. We called it a digital window," Noakes said. The purchase and installation was approved by a regional justice of the peace. They paid $508 for it.

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Comments (4)

Thoughts:

1) The idea that the camera is legal because it isn't recording or attempting is ridiculous, because it would be a simple matter to add that capability when no one is looking.

2) I can't believe there's no exception to the law banning video recording for surveillance cameras.

3) I'm kind of a libertarian myself, but the Sovereign Citizens are all kookoo for cocoa puffs.

Any law that seems, in it's wording, to prevent courthouse hallway TV reporters asking the victim's family how they feel about their daughter's murder would get my vote. Understand the sensitivity to cameras in the courtroom is a legitimate concern but, hey, would you do anything on the stand that you wouldn't do in public anyway? If the answer to that questions is yes, then you've larger problems elsewhere.

That's weird, because I swear I saw cameras in the Supreme Court House in Ottawa. Then again maybe because it's a federal courthouse, that just so happens to be in Ontario.

I am also doing work near the new courthouse in Thunder Bay, Ontario that has a series of cameras on the outside of the building, would that not then count as recording people entering or leaving the courthouse? Maybe I'll have to take another look tomorrow when I go for lunch.

You can put cameras on the court houses in BC but not the enterances or exits the Judges use...figure that one out.

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