Wednesday 5 August 2020

"I'm at a loss to explain how this is sensible"

Changing the subject entirely...

Tristan Kirk, courts correspondent of the Evening Standard, doesn't sound as if he's having a great day
Court hearing with a significant media interest - this is genuinely the set-up:  
Court refused to do a ticketing system & refused to set up a videolink for journalists despite everyone else in the hearing dialing in remotely.  
So reporters have been queueing on the street since 7am.  
The courtroom is almost certainly too small for all of us with social-distancing, so some in the queue aren't getting in.  
However, at lunch we are all being kicked out and another first-come-first-served queue will be formed for the afternoon session.  
Those that don't get in for the morning will be first in the queue for the afternoon session, and some who covered the morning session won't be able to listen to the afternoon.  
For this hearing, which we weren't allowed to do remotely, every time someone gets up and leaves the room, the hearing will be stopped and the seat cleaned, apparently. 
Journalists, especially broadcasters, often have to leave the room to do their job. So delays could be huge.  
And since the afternoon is first-come-first-served, we'll all be sat in different seats in the afternoon.  
I'm at a loss to explain how this is sensible.  
Some in the line are now considering summoning a colleague to come and queue all morning to secure them a spot in the afternoon.  
There's some very strict rules around cleaning - the toilet is sanitised every time it's used, and if anyone leaves the room their seat is cleaned (and may then be given away to someone waiting outside).  
It all makes you wonder, why no remote links, or a more appropriate venue?
A fellow journalist, Dominic Casciani, home correspondent of the BBC, read this and is outraged at HM Courts & Tribunals Service (an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice) over it:
One of the worst examples, HMCTS, of pointless obstruction in reporters' rights & duties. Why do colleagues have to put up with this just to witness justice being done? Does anyone in charge get what reporters actually need to do in order to properly & fairly report a case?

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