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Policy On The Use Of Live Text-based Communications From Court

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  • Policy On The Use Of Live Text-based Communications From Court

    THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM (UKSC)
    POLICY ON THE USE OF LIVE TEXT-BASED
    COMMUNICATIONS FROM COURT
    The legislation which applies to the UKSC, and the types of cases heard, are materially
    different from that which applies to the courts in England and Wales, Scotland and
    Northern Ireland.
    The UKSC has been specifically exempted from the statutory prohibitions on broadcasting
    and photography which apply in England and Wales and Northern Ireland. There is no
    such prohibition in Scotland. This is to allow for the broadcast of proceedings via the
    permanent camera equipment installed in the UKSC courtrooms. Court visitors themselves
    are prohibited from taking photographs or filming proceedings in the UKSC, and nothing
    in this policy should be read as relaxing that rule.
    The cases which come before the UKSC do not involve interaction with witnesses or
    jurors; and it is rare for evidence to be adduced which may then be heard in other courts.
    In addition the building used by the UKSC has been fully Wi Fi enabled, including all the
    courtrooms, in order to facilitate use of technology in and outside court.
    Subject to the exemptions which are outlined below, any member of a legal team or
    member of the public is free to use text-based communications from court, providing (i)
    these are silent; and (ii) there is no disruption to the proceedings in court. No one present
    in a courtroom is permitted to use a mobile device to make a telephone call, or to receive
    such a call. If any telephone or other device rings in court the person may be asked to
    leave by a security guard.
    The exceptions are:
    1. Where reporting restrictions have been put in place by the court, those must be
    observed by everyone present in the court. Under these circumstances, the use
    of live text-based communications which makes information about proceedings
    public will not be permitted.
    2. In a case involving a child, where anonymity is of the essence, text-based
    communications will be permitted, but any breach of the anonymity will be
    treated as a contempt of court.
    3. In rare cases, the UKSC may order that a judgment should not be reported in
    order not to influence other proceedings taking place in the lower court. In
    such instances, no live text-based communication about the outcome will be
    permitted.
    Such exceptions will be notified to court visitors by a notice at the door of the courtroom,
    and, where appropriate, by verbal instructions from a Justice.
    The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
    February 2011
    Common Sense .... if in doubt, use it !

    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

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