Judiciary launches trial run of live webcast of court proceedings

The following is issued on behalf of the Judiciary:

     The Judiciary today (December 22) announced that it will launch a trial run of live broadcasting of court proceedings through video webcasting next month (January) on two appellate proceedings in the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) for testing the technical feasibility of the live broadcast arrangements. 

     Open justice is a key to maintaining public confidence in the judicial system and upholding the rule of law. To enhance the transparency of court procedures and public confidence in the judicial process, the Judiciary has been actively exploring the initiative of live broadcasting of selected judicial proceedings outside court premises. 

     The Judiciary is mindful that not all proceedings are appropriate for live broadcasting. Appellate proceedings, particularly hearings in the CFA, are considered to be more suitable cases for live broadcasting. 

     Having regard to a host of factors seeking to ensure that the administration of justice will not be unduly compromised, including the need to take account of parties' views and to prevent possible misuse of broadcast materials, the Judiciary is planning to start with a trial run of live broadcasting of two appeal hearings in the CFA. The primary objective of the trial run is to test the technical feasibility of the arrangements, including the information technology and audio-visual setup, as well as the logistical and operational details before, during and after the hearings.

     The Judiciary has identified two CFA cases to be heard respectively on January 10 and 16 next year for the trial run, to test two different screen layouts of fixed grids' view. Major details are as follows:
  • Members of the public can view the live webcast of the two selected CFA cases on the CFA website via desktop computers or mobile devices installed with common browsers.
  • The core written materials will be made available on the CFA website before the hearings. Relevant information of the live webcast will be provided nearer the time of the court proceedings on the websites of the CFA and the Judiciary.
  • After the live webcast ends, the videos of the court proceedings will be uploaded to and kept on the CFA website for a short duration to allow easy access and flexible viewing. The two trial broadcasts of CFA hearings will respectively be made available for viewing for two and three calendar days after the hearing date.
  • Members of the public, including the media, must not record the live webcast or use the live broadcast footage for any purpose. Measures such as digital rights management commonly found on streaming platforms will be put in place to deter unauthorised recording, screen capturing and illegal distribution of the live broadcast footage. Any person who records, edits or re-broadcasts the live broadcast footage without prior permission of the Court is liable for contempt of court or copyright infringement. Warnings will be shown on the CFA website and on-screen runner during the live webcast.

     Taking into account the technical feasibility assessment, court users' feedback, and operational experience from the trial run, the Judiciary will conduct a review and consider the way forward for live broadcasting of court proceedings outside court premises in the longer term.

Ends/Friday, December 22, 2023
Issued at HKT 12:00