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This is an interesting question. I think there is a difference between recording trials and broadcasting them live. If a trial is broadcasted live, this might lead to the participants pandering to the camera audience and not just the court audience. However I see no problem with recording trials for use later, when the verdict has already been announced.
Are you talking about still cameras or TV cameras? I think that still cameras are fine but that TV cameras are a bit dangerous.
I do not see anything wrong with still cameras, though I think that photographers should not be allowed to click away (if their cameras make noise) while lawyers or witnesses are talking. I see nothing wrong with having pictures of the lawyers, witnesses and judges. (But I would not want the proceedings disrupted by flashes and clicks and stuff like that, so it depends on the technology.)
TV cameras are worse, in my opinion, because they encourage lawyers, judges, maybe even witnesses to show off for the camera rather than just going about what they are supposed to do.
We now have TV cameras covering proceedings of highest level bodies such as Parliament. In situation like this a blanket ban on cameras of any kind in courts is not understandable. This does not eliminate possibility of putting reasonable restriction on such photography to protect valid need to avoid publicity and to avoid disturbances. It should be noted that barring some exceptions, general public is allowed to witness the proceedings of the court. The argument of confidentiality is clearly not applicable in any case where general public is thus allowed to witness the proceedings of the court. Also the judges can and often do take action to control disturbance to court proceedings by the public. Photography in courts can also be regulated in similar fashion.
If some lawyers just show off for the cameras, rather than do their jobs, they will soon mend their ways after loosing a few cases. I refrain from agreeing that judges may also be just showing off for the camera rather than doing their job for the fear that I may be charged with contempt of courts.
I do think its up to the people being tried cause some people dont want photos being taken and thats ok it also could be a privacy issue or concern so it really is up to that person. TV Cameras and recording devices should definately not be allowed what is said in court rooms is considered to be confediential and none of that information should be leaked to the press especially if we are talking about a famous person or such. But yes cameras (digital cameras and original cameras) definatley should be allowed in courtrooms as there is no harm and no revealing information.
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