Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Not allowed to record a hearing :( What an outrage!!!!

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    16

    Not allowed to record a hearing :( What an outrage!!!!

    I have today attended a hearing regarding disability in the county court. Beforehand I asked many times can I record the hearing because I have a memory problem. No one would give an answer other than it up to the judge on the day.

    Well the day came and I was informed (as ever) you can get a transcript after the hearing is finished by applying for it. As it was a two day hearings I need it to plan my second day.

    Anyway it wasn't allowed because 'recording equipment might interfere with courts recording system'. This seem like bullshit to me. So a mobile phone, wi-fi which send signals are fine, so are hearing aids. But a recording device that doesn't transmit anything isn't allowed.

    The case was regarding reasonable adjustments with service providers, how the law on this be enforced by a court that ignored their own duty to make reasonable adjustments?

    Does anyone have an opinion on how I might get this changed? Or if recording do interfer with court mics?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3,512
    Your hearing is likely over now, but the answer remains the same as the answer I gave you some time ago. Audio recording of proceedings in court without leave of the court under section 9 Contempt of Court Act 1981 is contempt of court. The 1981 Act makes it clear that permission for audio recording is at the sole discretion of the court.

    As is always the case with 'reasonable adjustments', you cannot insist on your preferred adjustment. You brought this issue up in the case management conference, and the judge advised you that you could ask the judge to consult his or her notes.


    Arguably, it would impede proceedings if you kept asking for time to check untranscribed audio recordings. There is only so much preparation you could have done between the two days of the hearing, even if you had a recording. Once the hearing is over, an official transcript can be arranged.

    It sounds as if you were a litigant in person (someone with no legal representation), in which case it would have been open to you to have a lay person sit with you to make notes as a Mackenzie Friend. You could also have attempted to secure pro bono (free of charge) representation.


    Mobile phones are not necessarily allowed, as Paul Thompson found out.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    16
    I get you on the recording issue. But I'm not so sure on recording as a reasonable adjustment:

    "Equality law applies to courts and tribunals, just as it does to any other organisation providing services to the public or a section of the public or carrying out public functions."

    http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/a...and-tribunals/

    The court was the most unfriendly disability environment I'd ever been in. It was a nightmare!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3,512
    I agree - the court is subject to the Equality Act 2010, but that Act only requires the provision of 'reasonable adjustments'. There is no right to your chosen adjustment when arguably more reasonable alternatives exist.

    The starting position in the courts of England and Wales is that audio recording is never allowed, on pain of contempt of court. Judges do have discretion to permit recording, but considering the availability of arguably more suitable adjustments, such as a Mackenzie Friend, it is easy to see why the judge was not persuaded to use their discretion.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    16
    All that happened in my case is the judge asked the barrister if I can take notes and he said 'yes', despite have no clue if I could or couldn't. When clearly I couldn't take notes and follow proceedings, I also have Dyslexia. In fact it was very clear not only could I not take notes I couldn't understand what was going on full stop.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3,512
    Were you represented? If so, your counsel is responsible for looking after your interests. Arguably it was your responsibility to make Counsel aware, maybe via the instructing solicitor, of your needs.

    If you were represented, it was for your representative to conduct the case according to your instructions, and I'm not surprised that permission to record proceedings was refused. It was your representative's job to make any notes necessary to the conduct of the case personally, or arrange for the attendance of junior colleagues to take notes for them.


    Legal proceedings can be difficult to understand for the lay person. There isn't time for repeated adjournments to explain what is happening.

Similar Threads

  1. ESA Decision Allowed But!!
    By petehunn in forum Benefits - help & advice on disability benefits, incapacity benefits, ESA and DLA
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 11-07-14, 23:48
  2. When will this outrage end?
    By Blackball in forum News and general discussion
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 16-07-13, 12:43
  3. hearing tomorrow......help
    By blazesmummy in forum Benefits - help & advice on disability benefits, incapacity benefits, ESA and DLA
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 28-06-13, 17:38
  4. Are they allowed to do this?
    By Mymaisie in forum Benefits - help & advice on disability benefits, incapacity benefits, ESA and DLA
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 25-10-12, 03:23
  5. Appeal hearing, has anyone won?
    By Stephen1959 in forum Benefits - help & advice on disability benefits, incapacity benefits, ESA and DLA
    Replies: 54
    Last Post: 27-09-12, 15:15

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •