CCTVs are used in many places these days as they instill a sense of safety and security. You can find security cameras all around you whether it’s the departmental stores, malls, housing complexes, banks or ATMs. Should they be installed in courtrooms too? There is a group of people in favor of it, while there is another that is against it.
Those against it, which are mostly the judges, cite concerns like it will affect participants’ behavior. The witnesses might be camera-conscious and reluctant to testify. They also argue that the jurors can get distracted. Both the witnesses and the jurors will have concerns as their actions will be captured.
But, there is a larger percentage of the population that favors the installation of CCTV in courtrooms. They believe that it will be in the larger public interest and will ensure discipline and security.
The only concern can be that the CCTV needs to be maintained properly so that there is no breach of security to the surveillance system as such. There have been instances when the criminal minds hack into the surveillance system erasing the data or using it for malicious purposes. If CCTVs are maintained properly they will be surely beneficial in courtrooms.
Here are a few ways in which the CCTV installation in courtrooms will be beneficial:
- The installation of CCTV in courtrooms will actually play an important role in establishing and strengthening the legitimacy of both the institution and the rulings. Shunning the cameras might lead to lack of transparency, which will not be the case if CCTVs record all the proceedings.
- It will also help in educating the public on the serious and deliberative work that courts do.
- The courts are considered to be a separate entity altogether, which provides justice based on facts and witnesses. They are supposed to be non-political and cannot be influenced by power or money. However, there is a growing perception that the courts do get influenced by politicians and those with power and money. This is dangerous to their legitimacy and reputation. The recordings of the proceedings will help in keeping the process transparent.
- CCTV systems will permit the courtrooms the respect they deserve. When everything is getting recorded, the justices will demonstrate the best of the behavior. They will take their jobs seriously and the scope of being partisan or gridlocked will be eliminated.
All these points basically make it perfectly logical to install CCTV in courtrooms.