“The Contempt of Court Act 1981 does not allow sound recordings to be made without the court’s permission. It’s also an offence to take photographs or make sketches (in court) of judges, jurors and witnesses Ã¢â‚¬â€œ although the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 says that doesn’t apply to the supreme court. Since there isn’t a statutory ban on creating text by means of electronic devices, it surprises me that journalists and bloggers haven’t already lobbied British judges about reporting directly from the courtroom.
There are some lawyers and journalists who have reservations about this: ‘You’d need to trial it, to see how it worked,’ says Mike Dodd, editor of Media Lawyer. ‘I’d be very suspicious about tweeting Ã¢â‚¬â€œ I’m not sure that court cases are the sort of thing where you’d want to put out short, pithy messages.’
The difference between scribbling notes (publishing later) and filing copy instantly from the courtroom using an electronic device is self-evidently slight and there’s a lot to be said for the sort of full, accurate, contemporaneous, reports of court hearings that live-blogs and twitter reporting could achieve.”
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