Monday, October 31, 2011

Honour Killing Trial Judge Says No Tweeting in Court

According to the Law Times, Superior Court of Ontario Justice Robert Maranger has ruled that reporters won't be able to liveblog / tweet about what happens in a Kingston courthouse during the murder trial of Mohammad Shafia, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, and their son Hamed.

Police allege that they murdered four female relatives, including three daughters, in what is being described as an "honour killing".

As the Law Times article explains:
"According to s. 136 of the Ontario Courts of Justice Act, journalists can’t use electronic devices to record or videotape information inside the court. They can take handwritten notes."

"The act also provides for exceptions to those rules if a judge sees fit in certain circumstances. The act doesn’t mention social media web sites, however."

"In most instances, it falls on the individual judge to decide whether or not journalists can use BlackBerrys and social media to provide live updates from the court."

"Such issues have surfaced a few times over the last several years."

"In 2009, Ottawa Citizen journalist Glen McGregor tweeted live from the trial of former Ottawa mayor Larry O’Brien. McGregor provided daily play-by-play coverage as allegations of influence peddling unfolded before the courts. The court eventually found O’Brien not guilty."
McGregor spoke at a panel I organized in May 2010 at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries on the impact of new social networking technologies on trial procedure and juror behaviour.

Earlier Library Boy posts on the topic include:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:17 pm


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