Social media prejudicing court cases

Does social media undermine the court system?

The UK's top government legal adviser has opened a consultation to examine whether discussion of cases on social media undermines the integrity of the court system.

Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC is assessing whether changes to the legal system need to be made to prevent 'trial by social media'. Mr Wright highlighted a recent murder trial that had to be stopped and moved to another part of the country due to an ongoing social media commentary during the trial.

Long-established Contempt of Court laws prevent the media from unfairly reporting cases, however there are concerns that many social media users do not believe these laws apply to them even though they can also be liable for fines or even prison sentences if they prejudice proceedings.

Mr Wright has issued a Call to Evidence that will run until December and he is keen to hear from judges, solicitors and victims groups before compiling a report on the matter.

Conflict International has considerable experience in utilising open source intelligence (OSINT) to build up a profile of a person of interest in an investigation. It is becoming a valuable tool in intelligence work.

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