The Lord Chief Justice has said that he supports the use of technology in court reporting.
“My fervent hope is that the advance of new technology will make it easier for the media to be ‘present’ in court, and that the present trend for fewer and fewer reporters in every court will come to an end,” Lord Judge said in a speech entitled ‘the judiciary and the media’, delivered in Jerusalem on Monday.
“It is now possible, as you know, for a contemporaneous report of what is being said to be put up on a television screen as the words are spoken, or more realistically, three or four seconds after they have been spoken,” he added in discussing the use of Twitter and live text in court reporting, which is currently under consultation.
“Whatever the result of the consultation, and whatever guidance is promulgated after its conclusion, I have no doubt that it will have to be re-visited, and re-visited again,” Lord Judge said.
Editors and judges should also have a working relationship, Lord Judge argued, “so that if for example it appears that a judge in his sentencing remarks has said something outrageous or absurd, at least before this goes into print, it can be checked that he has indeed said that which was attributed to him, or that if he did, there was a context which explains it.
“A record of what the judge actually said should be made available. In that way what might be a misguided headline is avoided. On the other hand, if the judge did indeed utter a remark which, whatever the context, was absurd or stupid or revealing a prejudice, why then, it should be reported, and criticised for absurdity, stupidity or prejudice.”