U.K. Supreme Court Tells Journalists: “Twitter as much as you wish.”

December 15th, 2011

Imagine that!

“Twitter as much as you wish,” he said as he delivered the guidance which takes immediate effect and covers the use of electronic devices including phones and small handheld laptops for live text-based communications.

The guidance extends that issued last December and now also allows members of the public to tweet, but they, unlike journalists and legal commentators, must seek permission from the court in advance.

Judges retain full discretion to prohibit any live text-based communication from court in the interests of justice, and permission from court may be withdrawn “at any time”.

“A fundamental aspect of the proper administration of justice is open justice. Fair, accurate and, where possible, immediate reporting of court proceedings forms part of that principle,” said Judge.

The guidance follows “prolonged consultation including with the media, the secretary of state for justice, the attorney general and members of the public”.

The “paramount question” for the judge in deciding whether to allow tweeting is whether it may interfere with the administration of justice.