Law, Justice and Journalism

Posts Tagged ‘pa media lawyer’

Geoffrey Robertson QC: Press ‘must do better to protect open justice’

In Events, Journalism, Justice, Law on March 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm

By PA Media Lawyer

The press needs to lift its game if the principle of open justice is to be maintained, a senior QC has warned.

Part of the rationale for open justice was that it meant that judges were themselves under trial while conducting cases, because of media and public scrutiny, and that the public was educated by reports of what was happening in the courts, said media law and human rights specialist Geoffrey Robertson.

“There has been very little informed criticism of the judicial performance of our judges,” he told a conference entitled Justice Wide Open, at City University London, on February 29.

“The media, it seems to me, are third rate, compared to the American media, where appointments to the Supreme Court are covered critically by a lot of experts and a lot of legal journalists,” he said.

“Here the level of coverage of the courts – and certainly critical coverage – is very poor. The number of journalists in courts has been cut.”

But little encouragement was given to critical journalism, Mr Robertson said.

Read the full article at PA Media Lawyer here (subscription required). Papers from the conference will be published later this spring, in a Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism publication. See the project page for more details.

Digital age poses challenge for jury trials

In Events, Journalism, Justice, Law on March 19, 2012 at 10:30 am

By PA Media Lawyer

The jury system might need to be changed to allow jurors to play a more active part in trials as a result of the advances in technology which brought the internet, micro-blogging and social websites such as Twitter and Facebook, a conference was told.

At present technological advances posed two dangers to trials in criminal cases, said Professor Ian Cram, Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Leeds (left).

“We can characterise the dangers that arise in two ways – jurors who do their own research, producing information flowing into the jury room. Facebook and Twitter facilitate this sort of flow of information,” he said.

“Information also flows out of the jury room – jurors may send Tweets or updates on their jury room experiences in real time, including on how their deliberations are going,” he told the Justice Wide Open – Open Justice in the Digital Age conference at City University London, on February 29.

Read the full article at PA Media Lawyer here (subscription required). Professor Cram’s paper will be published later this spring, in a Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism publication. See the project page for more details.