So our Lord Chancellor has decided to let the TV cameras into court - albeit on a limited basis - to be advised, of course.
I don't know about you but I think this will cause an almighty turn-off. Pitted against the fantasy of Ally McBeal, Judge Judy and now Boston Legal it seems to me that some of this country's charisma-challenged advocates may find it hard to live up to expectations.
How will they deal with this new found avenue for celebrity? Will it cause them to shake the dust off the horse hair wig? Will the gown that's been worn for 35 years finally reach the dry cleaners? Will the linings of those Crombie suits get even snazzier? Will they feel the need to crack a joke or two, or even smile? And quite frankly, do we care?
What of the defendants? A perfect opportunity is it not for the average scally to "grandstand" to the media or make a political statement.
Why not throw something, threaten violence or attempt to escape from the dock on live TV? This is the perfect opportunity to be famous for 15 minutes. Get yourself arrested and become a celebrity - after all it can't be any worse than appearing in Big Brother can it?
Perhaps the public could be given the chance to vote for their least favourite QC or Judge and have them sent to Court 101. Or vote to send the favourite and most deserving defendant on a foreign " experience" holiday where he can be closely supervised and turn over a new leaf.
And what of celebrity endorsements? Senior judges could sell security shutters, or even life insurance. Perhaps a little on-gown advertising here or there, such as Judges fly Emirates or Crown Courts choose Crown Paints. Barristers could introduce "defend one get one free" offers... the scope is endless.
Yes I have trivialised the matter, but in my opinion if this is badly handled it will look like a circus. At a time when we need some strong and courageous action taken by our courts, please let's not do anything which might cause the public to further lose confidence in our system.
* Nigel Wood is senior partner at Birmingham law firm the Wilkes Partnership.