San Diego International Law Journal


Eric Waage

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Article examines the film Closed Circuit, as it portrays the legal issues surrounding a British judge’s decision to hold a hearing in camera. As in the United States, holding in camera hearings safeguards the use of witnesses and protects confidential information before it is shared with all parties to a criminal case or the jury. Closed Circuit accurately portrays some aspects of the United Kingdom’s legal standards that govern these hearings including the judicial deference to the Crown’s national security interests, the appointment of cleared special counsel to represent the accused, and the use of pseudonyms to protect witnesses in open court. The film depicts a complicated relationship that arises out of the government’s use of an informant. The informant is the son of an accused criminal who sells materials used in a deadly terrorist attack. The next section will present a description of the United Kingdom’s distinctive procedure regarding in camera hearings. The sections that follow discuss the film and the accuracy of its portrayal of the U.K. legal system.