The role of the media in criminal trials


Round-table evidence session


At its meeting on 2 October 2012, the Committee held an evidence session on the role of the media in criminal trials, in advance of its Parliamentary debate on the topic on 23 October.

A SPICe briefing was produced to assist members in their scrutiny and a number of written submissions were provided by witnesses and other interested parties. The SPICe briefing and written submissions are provided below.

SPICe briefing

Written submissions

Summary of evidence



A debate on the role of the media in criminal trials took place in the Chamber on 23 October 2012.

Next steps

At its meeting on 6 November 2012, the Committee agreed to await the conclusion of the Lord President’s review of the use of cameras in court before considering its next steps in relation to this issue. The Committee also asked SPICe to undertake research into how social media impacts on witnesses and jurors in other jurisdictions.

The Committee considered the SPICe research at its meeting on 4 December 2012. Members agreed to write to the Scottish Government asking whether it has any plans to issue a formal response to the Law Commission's consultation on contempt of court in England and Wales and whether it has any plans to initiate a similar review in Scotland.

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