Minister Flanagan welcomes ban on texting and tweeting from Court
17 November 2018
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has welcomed today’s announcement by the Chief Justice, Mr. Frank Clarke, of a new practice direction limiting the use of live text and message based communications from Court to bona fide members of the media and lawyers in a case.
The Minister said: “The right to a fair trial is one of the most fundamental rights in society. It is essential that we protect it and ensure the integrity of the trial process. The use of social media from within Courts has become highly controversial, not only in this jurisdiction, cutting across the law of contempt and judges’ powers of contempt. I welcome this move by the Chief Justice, limiting the use of texting and tweeting from Court to bona fide members of the media and lawyers in a case will help ensure only those fully aware of the limits of what they can report and when will report live from a Court room.
The wider issue of the law of contempt and the use of social media in the Court context is currently under consideration by the Law Reform Commission who will be producing a full report in quarter 1 of 2019. In the meantime, I am fully supportive of the measures which are being brought forward within the Courts in terms of the effective management of Court business.”