Thursday, 16 June 2011

Social Media and the Courts

Dave Green, Managing Partner at MTA:

Social media and the courts is obviously becoming a real issue. With super-injunctions being broken on Twitter and now a Juror about to be sentenced for contempt of court for contacting a defendant on facebook, what does the future hold for monitoring this kind of behaviour in and around the court process?

These are the first people in the UK ever to be prosecuted for contempt of court using the internet and its seriousness is emphasized by the seniority of the judges involved, led by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge.

Social media obviously has its place but now the lines between social contact and business use on these sites is becoming blurred, social media needs to be used wisely.

Businesses and this includes Lawyers need to be aware of its uses and its pitfalls and dangers. It is all very well for the legal profession to get up to date with using social media, as we are, but we need to be sure that it is used responsibly, the same as the general public need to be aware of the impact of what they do and say online.

The Facebook juror is about to be made an example of when she is sentenced this week, but how much of this has gone on before and how can it be monitored going forward?

It will be interesting to hear the Lord Chief Justice's summing up this week and the precedents set by this case. 

MTA has a twitter account that we try to keep updated with law related points of interest - follow us at @mtasolicitors. 

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