Controlling the media

Courts are public places and reporters are normally free to attend any trial. While some restrictions apply to many trials (for example, live streaming of court proceedings is only allowed in the Supreme Court and five courtrooms at the Royal Courts of Justice, and taking photographs is not permitted in any court), cases often end up in the newspapers, on radio and TV.

However, if a witness or defendant is under the age of 18 and the offence is dealt with in a youth court, the media is automatically restricted from identifying them. The media is also prevented from identifying victims of a wide range of sexual offences, including all instances of rape and indecent assault. In other cases, the courts may put restrictions in place to limit what the media can report, for example if a witness is afraid or very upset at giving evidence.

If you have concerns about the media covering a trial you are involved in as a witness, find out what help may be available.