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New inquiry – Open Justice: Court reporting in the digital age

17 September 2021

The Justice Committee has launched a new short inquiry into open justice and 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 instant reporting on court proceedings raises questions about how traditional rules for reporting can be maintained. At the same time, the Government’s court reform programme is also changing the way that the public and the media access the courts.   

The use of online and remote arrangements in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the growing court backlog, has highlighted risks and opportunities for ensuring open justice and access to proceedings for members of the public and press. While removing the need to be physically present to follow court proceedings, it required additional support services to maintain access. 

In this new 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 potential barriers to ensuring proceedings remain transparent and accessible. The inquiry will also consider opportunities for using digital technology to enhance open justice. and the impact of social media on court reporting. 

Terms of reference 

The Committee is inviting written evidence on the following issues by 18 October:  

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

Find out how to submit evidence here.

Further information

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