Jointly hosted by HM Courts and Tribunals Service and the Society of Editors, the Bristol event was organised as part of a wider effort to promote open justice and media access to court proceedings. It was jointly chaired by HMCTS CEO Susan Acland-Hood and Executive Director of the Society of Editors, Ian Murray.
Further meetings are planned for the coming months across other parts of England and Wales and follows the creation of the national HMCTS media working group in 2018.
HMCTS Chief Executive, Susan Acland-Hood, said: “Open justice is a fundamental part of our legal system and media reporting of court proceedings remains the primary means by which the wider public has access to the vital work of our courts and tribunals.
“We are delighted to be working with the Society to understand how we can improve the way we work with the regional media as part of our wider effort to build and maintain public confidence in the justice system.”
Executive Director of the Society of Editors, Ian Murray said: “This was the first of a number of regional events and proved to be very productive and positive.
“The importance of open justice cannot be overstated particularly in these times of a fragmenting media landscape.”
The HMCTS media working group was established to help promote media access to courts and draft new guidance issued to HMCTS staff on dealing with the media. The group is also helping to ensure the media’s views are heard in the development of HMCTS £1bn court and tribunal reform programme.
The roundtable was attended by representatives from organisations across the South West. These included: the Bristol Post, Gloucestershire Live, Somerset Live, the Press Association and Heart Radio.