Rules for open justice

|Speeches|Nicolas Moss JP

Speech by Nicholas Moss JP to Broadcast Journalism Training Council Conference: Law, ethics and regulation

“This speech represents the personal views of the judge and does not necessarily represent those of the judiciary as a whole.”

“One of the questions that the conference asks is what tomorrow’s journalists need to know. But I am taking a little licence to suggest that, while tomorrow is important, today is just as important; perhaps more so.

“We heard earlier today about the white book – the Civil Procedure Rules – and their role since the 1990s in improving the conduct of business in the civil courts. But I want to tell you about the buff book: the Criminal Procedure Rules1 and some changes that come in next month. What these Rules lack in their number of pages compared with their elder civil sibling, they more than make up for in sheer sharp-end practical guidance.

“And I should say also that I am not here to try to poach readers from the number of top flight text books on media law; but I am here to promote the source material: the Criminal Procedure Rules themselves. At £38 they are dearer than the text books – and, with their buff cover, they don’t look quite as attractive.

“But they are excellent value; and, as the original work, they would certainly enhance any training room library or newsroom! What’s more, they are available to print off for nothing in rule-sized portions from the Ministry of Justice website. That is the end of the plug!”

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