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Reporter stops erosion of right of access to courts

An erosion of the right of free access to the criminal courts has been prevented by Press Association reporter Brian Farmer. Officials at St Albans Crown Court demanded his name and employer and, when he refused to give it, he was ejected from the building by police.

The Press Gazette reports that the government body in charge of courts in England and Wales has now issued an apology and backtracked over demands made for journalists to register their names when entering a court.

Farmer told PG that he felt asking for his name and his employer was the start of a “slippery slop”.

The court service has made it clear that there is no requirement for the press and members of the public to identify themselves. Every reporter in England and Wales should read the PG story.

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