The “Open Court Principle” was first described by the Supreme Court of Canada, and continues to be known as, “a hallmark of a democratic society”. It is essential to allow public access to the courts and ensure the public has an opportunity to see “justice administered in a non arbitrary manner, according to law”.
While courts are open to the public, few have the opportunity to attend court in person. Most people rely on the media to inform them about court proceedings. As a result, the media play an important role with regard to the "Open Court Principle".
Together, the Manitoba Court of Appeal, the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench and the Manitoba Provincial Court have spearheaded a pilot project that allows for broadcast of a court proceeding at each level of court. No proceeding which involves the testimony of witnesses will form part of the pilot project.