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Twitter can be used in law courts

Kathleen Hall

Following Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's bail hearing last week, where a London magistrate permitted the use of Twitter, social media is now allowed in court.

But the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, said it may be necessary to limit it to journalists.

Lord Judge has issued interim guidance on the use of social media, such as Twitter. The guidance also covers the use of mobile, e-mail and internet-enabled laptops.

However, journalists will have to apply for approval to use Twitter and other digital technology to the relevant judge in each case.

There is no statutory prohibition on the use of live text-based communications in open court. But before such use is permitted, the court must be satisfied that its use does not pose a danger of interference to the proper administration of justice in the individual case, The Guardian reported Lord Judge said.

"Subject to this consideration, the use of an unobtrusive, handheld, virtually silent piece of modern equipment for the purposes of simultaneous reporting of proceedings to the outside world as they unfold in court is generally unlikely to interfere with the proper administration of justice," he said.


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