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tweet ToWho?

15 March 2011

There is no statutory ban on tweeting from court. Twitter was not even hatched as a concept when the Contempt of Court Act of 1981 was drafted.

Following the permission granted to tweet proceedings from inside court at the bail hearing of Julian Assange in December 2010, a consultation is underway into the issue.

A High Court injunction has already been served via Twitter and on 4 February 2011, the Supreme Court gave the green light on tweeting.

Critics of in court tweets cite inaccurate reporting of proceedings, the ability of jurors to encounter prejudicial material online and the ability of witnesses to find out what has been said before they are called.

However, the electronic age is very much here. Perhaps Twitter will enhance public interest in legal proceedings and bring the process of justice further into the open.

The deadline for submissions for the consultation is 4 May 2011.

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