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Call for Evidence

Open justice: court reporting in the digital age

Changes in the media landscape over the past two decades have altered the way in which the courts are reported. The growth of social media as a means of reporting on court proceedings raises questions about how traditional rules for reporting are maintained. At the same time, the Government’s court reform programme is changing the way that the public and the media access the courts.

In this short inquiry, the Justice Committee will examine how the media’s coverage of the courts has changed, with a particular focus on the impact of technology and court reform. It will investigate what potential barriers might prevent proceedings remaining open, transparent and accessible. The inquiry will also consider opportunities to use digital technology to enhance open justice. The Committee is also interested in evidence that analyses the potential effect of both the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and the Judicial Review and Courts Bill on open justice.

Terms of reference

  • How the media’s coverage of courts has changed, and what the implications are for open justice;
  • What barriers there are to the media obtaining information from the courts;
  • What could be done to make information on court cases more transparent and accessible;
  • The implications of social media for court reporting and open justice; and
  • The effect of court reform and remote hearings on open justice.

Please send submissions of no more than 3000 words through the online portal by 18 October 2021. We would welcome early submissions.

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