Australian Court Says Tweeting From Court Can Be A Good Thing

from the smart-courts-down-under dept

We’ve written a few times about the legal battle in Australia between ISP iiNet and anti-piracy group AFACT. The actual trial’s been going on — and we haven’t written much about the day-to-day, figuring we’ll wait until there’s a verdict. However, Jason sent over an interesting side note. Some had noticed that there was a flurry of Twitter reporting from the courtroom, as various reporters have been using Twitter to get real-time info out about the trial. Apparently, the fact that some had called attention to this scared off The Australian, who told its reporter to stop Tweeting from the courtroom, wondering if it might get them in trouble.

Not so much, apparently. When asked about it, the court basically said it was fine. While it admitted that it hadn’t really put too much thought into potential downsides, on the whole, it viewed portable technology as a good way to quickly inform the public:

The practice is relatively new and — as such — the court has not had the opportunity to consider any possible adverse implications. It is entirely at the discretion of individual judges how they conduct matters in their court room. We would, of course, be concerned if any device was used that disrupted proceedings.

Nevertheless, on what we know so far, the use of twitter does not seem to have caused any problems and maybe a useful way of informing the public very quickly about what is happening in a court room. The court itself — through its e-services strategy — supports the use of portable technology. New portable devices provide a range of functions — in addition to being a phone — and are increasingly used by many in the ordinary course of business because they are so efficient.

It’s nice to see a court not freak out about such things, but recognize that they’re increasingly common and often quite useful.

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