Cameras in Court

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Videos from OPCA theorists court interactions often go viral on social media, usually they are seeking validation of their OPCA efforts online from other enthusiasts. Unfortunately the use of recording devices in NSW Courts is prohibited under the Court Security Act 2005 – Section 9 – and carries a $22,000 fine or imprisonment for 12 months (or both).

Saying “This does not apply to me…” will not save the OPCA adherent from prosecution. 1

COURT SECURITY ACT 2005 – SECT 9Use of recording devices in court premises

(1) A person must not use a recording device to record sound or images (or both) in court premises.

Maximum penalty: 200 penalty units or imprisonment for 12 months (or both).

Note : This subsection only prohibits the use of a recording device to record sound or images (or both) and not any other use of the device. For example, this subsection would not prohibit a person from using a mobile phone with recording capabilities to make a telephone call, but would prohibit the use of the phone to record court proceedings.

(1) Subsection (1) does not apply with respect to any of the following:

  • (a) the use of a recording device that has been expressly permitted by a judicial officer,
  • (b) the use by a lawyer of a recording device to record the lawyer’s own voice in a part of court premises other than a room where a court is sitting,
  • (c) the use of a recording device by a person for the purpose of transcribing court proceedings for the court,
  • (d) the use of a recording device by a journalist while exercising a right referred to in section 6 (2), (e) the use of such recording devices in such other kinds of circumstances as may be prescribed by the regulations.

Similar Commonwealth legislation can be found in Section 17  of the Court Security Act 2013 (Cwth) 2

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