Cameras Ready to Roll in Manitoba Courts Pilot Project

WINNIPEG — A pilot project to allow television cameras in Manitoba courtrooms will begin with a murder trial verdict on Wednesday.

The project is to allow the public to see what happens inside a courtroom, where many never get the chance to attend first-hand and rely strictly on the media for information.

The Manitoba Court of Appeal, the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench and the Manitoba Provincial Court will include one pool camera, with media sharing a single audio/video feed for one case each.

Chief Justice Richrd Chartier, Chief Justice Glenn Joyal and Chief Judge Ken Champagne held a news conference on Tuesday to officially outline the pilot project, which they say won’t include witness testimony or jury trials.

Proponents of cameras in courtrooms are applauding the move, saying it allows for better transparency of the justice system.

Wednesday’s case will include the matter of Cassandra Knott, who faces a second-degree murder charge. Only the judge’s face will be permitted to be shown.

Future court cases will also be considered for televised coverage, unless an application for an objection can prove a camera shouldn’t be present.