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Twitter consultation closes

6 May 2011

A consultation launched by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, on the use of Twitter, email and text messages in court closed this week.

Lord Judge is proposing to allow journalists, but not members of the public, to use social media for the purpose of “fair and accurate” reporting of court cases.

The consultation paper said that developments in technology had broken down the barrier between the courts and the outside world.

“Technology has developed which removes the need to leave the courtroom to file copy,” the paper said, with internet access available to laptops and smartphones inside the courtroom without the need for a dedicated wireless point.

But the consultation also highlights risks posed by internet reporting, where news is not generated solely by journalists and where “the potential of misuse of the internet by jurors” was “a significant factor”.

Lord Judge told the Hebrew University in Jerusalem last month that guidance on the use of Twitter in the courts would need to be “revisited and revisited again”.

Lord Judge said that as fast as judges kept up with developments in technology, “developments themselves will be expanding”.

Journalists, lawyers and members of the public are already allowed to tweet from the Supreme Court.

Categorised in:

Wills, Trusts & Probate Courts & Judiciary