A courtroom video is a video recording of proceedings in a courtroom, usually accompanied with an audio track. Recording of this nature is not permitted in all courtrooms, and in courts where it is allowed, it can be restricted for security and other reasons.
Some courts use courtroom video as a form of internal recording. A court recorder is still present to take down proceedings but a video can be used to make another form of record that will show what happened in court. In the event that there are disputes about what happened in court, having multiple records to show the events can be helpful. Internal courtroom videos are kept in a secured area of a courthouse or in a separate facility and they are not intended for the use of members of the general public.
Members of the media can make courtroom videos although they are required to make a request prior to the opening of court. Courts limit the types of proceedings that can be recorded and a judge can choose to eject members of the media. Courtroom video of this nature can be used to report on events that happen in court and sometimes trials are broadcast because there is high public interest. Since it would not be possible for everyone interested in such cases to attend court, the courtroom video provides a method for accessing the event.
In many nations, judges have the power to clear a court and hold closed proceedings. Courtroom video is usually not allowed in these proceedings. Likewise, judges holding hearings in their chambers can deny access to the media. When a jury is cleared from a room while the judge and attorneys debate a point of order or challenge evidence, the judge may also order that recording cease. Recordings are also not allowed if the judge is concerned that they could prejudice the trial or endanger someone involved in a trial, such as a confidential witness.
Archives of courtroom videos that have been broadcast are usually available through the media and through organizations that collect and archive video content. In cases where photography and recording are not allowed, members of the media may use tools like courtroom sketches and notes they take during trial proceedings to report on the trial and bring the events to life for members of the public.
Members of the public may be barred from bringing recording devices into court, depending on the court and the proceeding. It is advisable to contact the bailiff ahead of time if there are questions about recording.