Tag Archives: Lord Ackner

Open Justice? What Is the Problem With Tweeting From a Scottish Court?

On 31st October Lord Hodge dealt with the long awaited application for the liquidation of the former Rangers Football Club PLC. The hearing at the Court of Session took much of the day, as counsel for the administrators and for a creditor argued over whether the order should be granted; whether the fees charged by the administrators should be reduced; and whether or not there should be a continuing investigation into allegations of conflict of interest on the part of Duff & Phelps, the administrators.

Coverage of the hearing was sparse as it proceeded. There is a ban on “tweeting” from Scottish courts. Indeed, when it was brought to the judge’s attention that tweets from the @Huddleboard account seemed to be coming from the court, those in attendance, including members of the public, were asked to confirm that their phones were off and that they were not tweeting. It was made clear that anyone “live tweeting” the case faced being found in contempt of court.

Not surprisingly no one owned up to being the tweeter. It was left to bloggers like me to fill the gap by taking what information had leaked out of the courtroom and trying to explain what I thought was going on.

At the lunch break, and at the close of the hearing there was then a mad rush by journalists and spectators to tweet what had happened, and one in particular, @mdkster, was kind enough to let me reproduce on the blog his detailed tweets regarding the morning’s proceedings. Continue reading

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Filed under Contempt of Court, Courts