The UK Supreme Court

How long before we see a review of the law regarding tweeting and blogging sites generally?

The 1981 Contempt of Court Act seems woefully inadequate these days when you consider the level of interest being shown in such high profile cases as the allowing of bail to Julian Assange.  The Supreme Court, give them their due, have set out guidelines which enable journalists and legal teams, as well as members of the public, to tweet during the hearing of a case by the court.

The Supreme Court had already indicated that tweeting was generally acceptable on a case by case basis but have now gone one step further and issued a general approval subject to certain limitations.

  1. Where reporting restrictions have been put in place by the court.
  2. In a case involving a child, where anonymity is of the essence, text-based communications will be permitted, but any breach of the anonymity will be treated as a contempt of court.
  3. Where the UKSC orders that a judgement should not be reported in order not to influence other proceedings taking place in the lower court.

Lord Phillips, President of the Supreme Court, seems to have embraced the guidelines saying 'The rapid development of communications technology brings with it both opportunities and challenges for the justice system.  An undoubted benefit is that regular updates can be shared with many people outside the court, in real time, which can enhance public interest in the progress of a case and keep those who are interested better informed.'

Life in the UK Supreme Court has moved on since February 2011 when the use of Twitter from its courtrooms was first allowed. In February 2012 the UKSC launched its own twitter account .

Even more recently,in January 2013, the UKSC launched its own YouTube channel, , summarising judgments. With live broadcasts also available on Sky it would seem that the UKSC is making every effort to be accessible to the public.

 

The Supreme Court

Tweeting Allowed in Supreme Court - UKSC blog – UKSC blog

Supreme Court to tweet proceedings - Telegraph

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