Tweeting from Supreme Court gets the go ahead

Trial by Twitter

The UK Supreme Court has given the thumbs up to courtroom tweeting, releasing a number of guidelines on when and how the live updates should be used.

While you won't be able to whip out your phone and pithily update your followers from a courtroom involving witnesses or a jury, tweets from the Supreme Court are allowed.

The Supreme Court is an appeals court which deals with civil cases, including appeals in criminal cases, and rarely calls for confidentiality.


Twittering from the courtroom was first allowed in December, when the judge gave permission for journalists to tweet from the appeal of Wikileaks' Julian Assange.

The press release notes that "the Justices of the Supreme Court are content with legal teams, journalists and members of the public communicating to the outside word what is happening in the courtroom."

There are a few instances when you won't be able to live-tweet the action though; if there are reporting restrictions in place, and when reporting on the case risks influencing proceedings in another court.

Lord Phillips, President of the Supreme Court, comments: "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."


News Editor (UK)

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