Comments on Proposed Amendments to 22 NYCRR Parts 29 and 31 – Electronic Recording and Audio-Visual Coverage of Court Proceedings
On November 6th, the Communications & Media Law Committee submitted a letter to the Office of Court Administration commenting on proposed amendments to New York State court rules that would permit audio-visual coverage and still photography of courtroom proceedings. The court rules, which had not been amended since the 1990’s when the state legislature temporarily permitted cameras in New York courts, contained references to outdated recording equipment and were otherwise inconsistent with the Unified Court System (UCS)’s evolving policy toward open access to the courts. The proposed amendments seek to broaden audio-visual and still photographic coverage of court proceedings while also maintaining the presiding judge’s discretion to determine the availability and scope of such coverage on a case-by-case basis. The Committee’s letter expressed support for the proposed amendments generally and offered suggestions for further additions and revisions, and is consistent with the City Bar’s longstanding position in favor of permitting cameras in public court proceedings subject to the court’s discretion where necessary to protect individual rights, prevent harmful impact on parties or witnesses, and/or to assure a fair and orderly trial.
Proposed amendment of 22 NYCRR Parts 29 and 131, relating to electronic recording and audio-visual coverage of court proceedings
The amendment of Part 131 was adopted by corrected order on February 1, 2016, with an effective date of March 1, 2016.