Preliminary Plan Approves Court Cameras

Published 01/25 2012 07:30AM

Updated 01/25 2012 09:12AM

    The Illinois Supreme Court has approved a pilot program allowing news cameras and electronic recording devices in courtrooms for the first time. The policy is effective immediately. Circuit courts in the state are encouraged to apply for approval from the Supreme Court to take part in the experimental program. Once an approval is made, media may ask to cover eligible cases in that Circuit.
    Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride says the move is "another step to bring more transparency and more accountability to the Illinois court system." News cameras have been allowed in Illinois' Supreme Court and Appellate Court since 1983. The Illinois Supreme Court posts audio and video of all oral arguments while audio of appellate arguments are all posted to the Supreme Court's website the same day.
    Illinois was among the first in the nation to use Twitter to officially communicate word of its orders, opinions and announcements. Until now, Illinois has been one of only 14-states where cameras in trial courtrooms were not allowed, or were limited to such restrictive use, they were hardly used.
    Allowing electronic coverage on an experimental bases in Illinois trial courtrooms is the most recent innovation approved by the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Kilbride. Since his selection as Chief Justice by colleagues in October 2010, the Supreme Court has approved several initiatives to bring Illinois courts into the digital age, making them more efficient and accessible.
    A copy of the entire policy is available on the Supreme Court's website:

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