German Cabinet OKs rules expanding media courtroom access

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet has approved a proposal to ease audio and video recording and broadcasting of some German trials.

The proposal passed Wednesday, which still needs parliamentary approval, foresees allowing the audio transmission of trials to media rooms within the courthouse, live public video broadcasts of verdicts by the country's highest appellate courts, and video "documentation" of trials of historical interest for archive purposes.

In the latter case, the video would only be available for researchers and not to be broadcast.

In all cases it's up to the court to decide what is permitted, and no appeals of the court's decision will be allowed. At present, only landmark rulings by the supreme court, the Federal Constitutional Court, are broadcast on television.