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Twitter Allowed In Court, Rules Top Judge

Twitter and other text-based communication can be used in UK courts, the Lord Chief Justice for England and Wales has ruled.

Lord Judge said that live text updates would be allowed from courts with the presiding judge's permission, but could be banned in criminal trials. Recording audio and video feeds from UK courts remains illegal.

He said: “There is no statutory prohibition on the use of live text-based communications in open court. But before such use is permitted, the court must be satisfied that its use does not pose a danger of interference to the proper administration of justice in the individual case.”

"Subject to this consideration, the use of an unobtrusive, hand-held, virtually silent piece of modern equipment for the purposes of simultaneous reporting of proceedings to the outside world as they unfold in court is unlikely to interfere with the proper administration of justice."

The approval follows journalists’ requests to use Twitter to report on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s bail hearings last week.

The interim guidance has immediate effect, but will be subject to an official review at a later date.