UK to nanny Twitter users on court cases

2013-12-04 14:50

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - The government's chief legal adviser said on Wednesday he plans to offer guidelines to social media users to help them avoid breaking Britain's laws on contempt when posting comments about court cases.

The guidelines, which will be posted on a case-by-case basis, aim to avoid a repeat of several high-profile incidents this year where Tweeters have fallen foul of the law.

"Blogs and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook mean that individuals can now reach thousands of people with a single tweet or post," said Attorney General Dominic Grieve.

"This is an exciting prospect, but it can pose certain challenges to the criminal justice system," he added in a statement.

Last week, judges handed a 14-month suspended prison sentence to a man who flouted court directions by posting pictures purporting to be of Jon Venables, whose murder of the toddler James Bulger in 1993 sparked a public outcry.

Contempt of court

In another case, Peaches Geldof, daughter of Band Aid founder Bob, apologised last week for tweeting the names of the two mothers whose babies she said were abused by rock star Ian Watkins. Police are investigating the tweets over concerns that they identified protected parties.

"This is not about telling people what they can or cannot talk about on social media; quite the opposite in fact, it's designed to help facilitate commentary in a lawful way," said Grieve.

Contempt of court is defined as an interference with the course of justice, such as the naming of victims who have been granted anonymity.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General Office (AGO) said that the guidelines were to inform the public rather than increase prosecutions.

"It isn't about a push for prosecutions: He (Grieve) would rather not. It's about education and stopping it getting to the point where it might be endangering a trial," the spokesperson said.

The guidelines will be posted on the AGO section of .gov.uk and on the department's Twitter feed, @AGO_UK.

Read more on:    twitter  |  social networks
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Parties serve urgent application over Tlakula

Opposition parties have filed an urgent application in the Electoral Court over their demand that IEC chair Pansy Tlakula must resign, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Cape Town - 18:56 PM
    Road name: N1 Outbound
    ACCIDENT obstructing two lanes at the M5 Koeberg Interchange - DELAYS from Lower Church Street
  • Thursday Kalk Bay - 18:47 PM
    Road name: Main Road Southbound
    HEAVY DELAYS between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2820.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.