IT IS JUST FINE to use your mobile phone in court to update followers on proceedings if you are a journalist, according to a judge.
Usually journalists would have to make a special request, either to the judge on an aide, if they wanted to tweet court updates, but this soft rule has now been dropped in UK courts.
"The normal, indeed almost invariable, rule has been that mobile phones must be turned off in court. There is however no statutory prohibition on the use of live text-based communications in open court," says guidance released by the Lord Chief Justice today.
The guidance (PDF) adds that although individuals should be barred from freely texting it would be unfair to put the same restraints on journalists.
"It is presumed that a representative of the media or a legal commentator using live, text-based communications from court does not pose a danger of interference to the proper administration of justice in the individual case. This is because the most obvious purpose of permitting the use of live, text-based communications would be to enable the media to produce fair and accurate reports of the proceedings," continues the guidance.
"As such, a representative of the media or a legal commentator who wishes to use live, text-based communications from court may do so without making an application to the court."
Normal people who want to be allowed the same right must ask the court as before, it adds. Journalists are not without restraints and if any case becomes encumbered with too many tweeting attendees then the judge might have to limit the number of phones in use. µ
But it's not yet available here in Blighty
We're not sure this is what The Maybot had in mind
Typical politicians - meme, meme, me
But it keeps the juicy details firmly under wraps