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Landmark order for live streaming in court

Publish date: 18 January 2016
Issue Number: 3910
Diary: Legalbrief Today
Category: Internet

According to a ground-breaking order issued by the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) live streaming of a court hearing is to be allowed for the first time in SA, and possibly anywhere in the world, notes Legalbrief. The hearing involves an appeal by attorney Fransa van Niekerk in a case in which her conduct in a RAF litigation matter was criticised and reported to the Law Society of the Northern Provinces. In that case the judge found her actions were ‘prima facie lacking probity’ and that her duty to act honestly and in the best interests of her client were ‘sacrificed on the altar of personal enrichment’. The application for the live-streaming was brought by Combined Artistic Productions (producers of television programme Carte Blanche), described in the heads of argument as ‘a long established and award winning production house’. According to the heads of argument presented by Webber Wentzel’s Ben Winks the argument rested on two ‘simple but significant propositions’ – the constitutional principle of open justice and compelling public interest. Two authorised representatives of the applicant are permitted to record the video and audio of the application for leave to appeal and to transmit or stream live the recording over the Internet.

Heads of argument