In today’s world, where information is power, it is crucial for the media to have access to court proceedings. This access allows journalists to report the proceedings, which in turn provides the public with a greater understanding of the judicial system and the cases that it handles. By providing an open and transparent view of court proceedings, the media helps to ensure that justice is provided fairly and equitably.
The relationship between the media and the court system has been a subject of much discussion and debate for many years. On the one hand, the media plays a vital role in informing the public about important events and issues, including legal proceedings. On the other hand, the interest of justice must be protected, and sometimes this means limiting the flow of information to the public.
The challenge is finding the right balance between these competing interests. One of the key issues in the debate over media rights in court proceedings is the principle of open justice. This principle states that justice must be done in public, so that the public can see that justice is being done. The media plays a crucial role in ensuring that the public is informed about what is happening in the courts, and this is essential to the functioning of democratic society. However, there are times when the interest of justice may require that certain information may be kept confidential.
For example, in cases involving minors or sensitive information, the courts may take steps to protect the privacy of the individuals involved. In these cases, the court may limit the amount of information that is made available to the public, and may even ban the media from reporting certain aspects of the case. This can be done to ensure that the privacy rights of the individuals involved are protected, and to prevent any harm that may be caused by the release of sensitive information.
Another issue in the debate over media rights in court proceedings is the impact of the media on the fairness of the proceedings. The media can have a significant impact on public opinion, and this can affect outcomes of cases. For example, if the media reports a case in a way that is biased or misleading, this can influence the jury and their decision. To ensure that the proceedings are fair, the court may take steps to limit the media access to certain information, or may even ban the media from reporting certain aspects of the case.
Live streaming of court proceedings can make it easier for the media to access the proceedings. This will allow the public to follow court proceedings from their homes, increase accountability and promote transparency.
In India, the media has a right of access to court proceedings, subject to certain restrictions. The Constitution of India guarantees freedom of the press, which includes the right to attend and report the court proceedings. In the context of Nepal, the media has the right to access but it has not been totally implemented. In India, the advocacy by advocates and the decision of the judges are live telecasted. In Nepal, people can visit the courts to know case updates of open hearings but closed hearings are not allowed access to anyone except the concerned authorities.
The relationship between the media and the court system is a complex one. Balancing the interest of justice and the public is not always easy, but it is essential to ensure that the public is informed about what is happening in the courts, and that the interests of justice are protected. By finding the right balance between these competing interests, the court system can continue to serve the needs of the public as well as protecting the interests of justice. Therefore, it is essential to ensure the rights of the media to court proceedings. This involves ensuring that journalists have the right to access court proceedings, to report them, and to publish their findings. This not only keeps the public informed but also helps to promote accountability and transparency in the judicial system.
Yet, protecting media rights in court proceedings can be a complex and challenging process. Many factors, such as the sensitive nature of the case, the privacy rights of the parties involved, and the need to maintain the integrity of the proceedings, may come into play. One of the biggest challenges facing journalists and the media is the issue of access to court proceedings. This can be due to lack of physical space in the courtrooms, restrictions imposed by the court, or even resistances from the parties involved. This can make it difficult for journalists to report on the proceedings and provide the public with the information they need. Another challenge is the protection of confidential information. This can be a major concern in sensitive cases such as those involving national security or personal privacy of the parties involved. Despite these challenges, it is important that media rights are protected in court proceedings.
Tap into technology
The legal system in Nepal has undergone significant changes in recent years, with technology playing a crucial role in the administration of justice. Judiciary also has embraced modern tools to improve the efficiency of its processes and to increase transparency.
In this context, live streaming of court proceedings can make it easier for the media to access the proceedings. This will allow the public to follow court proceedings from their homes, increase accountability, and promote transparency. Moreover, live streaming can also serve as an educational tool for students and the legal community by providing them a valuable resource for learning about the legal system and court procedures.
Sharing audio and video recordings of court proceedings can greatly improve the accuracy of proceedings, as the recorded evidence can be used to verify the testimony of witnesses. Additionally, audio and video recordings can also provide a visual representation of the events making it easier for the courts to understand the situation and make a fair ruling.
Social media has also become a vital tool for judges, lawyers, and court officials to share updates, opinions, and information about court cases. This can be helpful to increase public awareness and interest in court proceedings, and has also made it easier for people to participate in the legal process. Moreover, social media can also be used to conduct virtual court proceedings, which can be a useful alternative in situations where it is not possible to hold a physical hearing.
In conclusion, the use of media in court proceedings in Nepal can have the potential to revolutionize the administration of justice and bring about much-needed transparency and accountability. However, it is important to ensure that the use of media in court proceedings is done in a way that is respectful of the privacy and dignity of all parties involved. It is also important to ensure that the media is used in a way that does not interfere with the fair and impartial administration of justice.
Bivek Chaudhary is pursuing a BA LLB degree at Nepal Law Campus, Kathmandu.