Swedish courts to install cameras

Video cameras are to be installed in Swedish courtrooms for the first time, as part of moves to modernize the country's justice system.

The cameras will be used to record questioning of witnesses, the Swedish Courts Service said on Friday. The main purpose allowing filming is to help judges in appeals courts to review the evidence given in lower courts.

Only the sound from the recordings will be in the public domain. Pictures will be classified, although judges will be able to make footage public in exceptional circumstances in which there is no risk that those filmed will suffer as a result.

The changes are part of a modernization programme due to take effect in November 2008. Video cameras and computers are to be installed in 450 courts in Sweden and 3,200 court staff will be trained to use the new technology.

A pilot scheme will be started next month.