Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Drawing in Court

A protest outside the courts re disability assessment

Last week I spent a day drawing at the Royal Courts of Justice with the Topolski residents. Unfortunately during the afternoon session we were chucked out. In fact we hadn't been troubled during the morning where we attended and drew many different cases. The specific case was possibly the problem as it was  brought about by an individual against the Metropolitan police for discrimination. I thought we were getting some odd looks but when security arrived and removed us it became apparent that drawing in court isn't as straight forward as you'd think.

The drawings were held andwe were threatened with a possible charge of contempt of court. We were eventually allowed to leave sketchbookless whilst the offending drawings were checked by the Judge. Apparently caricature is ok but a direct likeness isn't allowed.

The drawings were returned without any alterations, ommisions or deletions. I was hoping for some critical feedback but nothing was to be found amongst the pages.

From just last week TV cameras are now allowed in the Court of Appeal following a partial lifting of the long standing ban.

Barrister Michael Mansfield QC welcomed the move, saying it was long overdue.
"You have to remember justice is supposed to be public. It is public. You can walk in there today. The problem is that doesn't reach a wide enough audience and we're also subject to the editorial delights of various newspapers as to what they want to report," 

In 1945-46 Feliks Topolski attended and completed an incredible series of drawings at the Nuremburg Trials which were published in La France Libre.