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article imageJudge says journalists can use Twitter to report on court cases

By Andrew John     Dec 20, 2010 in Internet
The top judge in England and Wales has said it’s permissible to use Twitter to send updates from courtrooms to the outside world.
In an interim judgment, Lord Justice Judge says the use of tweeting from the courtroom is unlikely to interfere with the course of justice.
At the moment video and sound recordings are not permitted in British courts.
The ruling by Judge – who is the Lord Chief Justice for England and Wales – "was prompted after journalists used Twitter at the bail hearing of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to give live updates,” says the BBC.
Although the ruling will have immediate effect, it is interim, and a review will now be conducted.
The judge’s ruling reads: “The use of an unobtrusive, hand-held, virtually silent piece of modern equipment for the purposes of simultaneous reporting of proceedings to the outside world as they unfold in court is unlikely to interfere with the proper administration of justice.”
The BBC says the use of Twitter in courtrooms has hitherto been controversial, “because it is a form of public broadcasting and potentially readable by anyone.”
The BBC quotes an unnamed legal analyst as saying that the practice of tweeting updates from court cases has been going on “quietly and surreptitiously for some time.”
Judge’s interim guidance covers the use of mobile phones, email and social media such as Twitter, as well as Internet-enabled laptops.
More about Court reports, Twitter, Julian Assange, Wikileaks, Mobile phone
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