Tweeting from Court? Whatever next?!

27-12-2011 09:23

The legal system took a step forward this month in embracing social media, in a Guidance document issued by the Courts which deals with the use of “live text-based communications” in Court.

Mobile e-mail, social media (including twitter) and internet enabled laptops (“live text-based communications”) may, from 14 December 2011, be used by a representative of the media or by a legal commentator be used in Court.

Members of the public may make an application to the Court if he or she wishes to make use of any live text-based communications purely for the purpose to communicate the proceedings.  If such an application is made by a member of the public, the Court will need to consider whether the application will interfere with the proper administration of justice, for example in criminal proceedings where a witness outside of Court may be prepped by someone inside of the courtroom or where jury members may get to see discussions in their absence.

The prohibition on taking photographs in court remains and the Court can withdrawn the permission at any time if it considers appropriate.

However, the upshot is that news of open Court hearings may now be communicated to the outside world faster than ever!

What do you think?  We would be interested in your opinions!

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