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Wikileaks is Changing Justice Systems

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Interestingly, Wikileaks might have already changed one aspect of the justice system, and this seemingly inadvertently.

While District Judge Howard Riddle in the bail hearing at magistrates court for Julian Assange allowed the public to tweet the proceedings of the court live to all the interested public on the Internet, Justice Ouseley during the appeal in the high court did not allow the same.

This apparent inconsistency was even very speedily noted by the Lord Chief Justice, the top judge in the UK. He will apparently, after some consultations, issue an interim guidance how courts in the England and Wales should deal with electronic devices for the purpose of reporting court proceedings.

Public participation is a fundamental rock to a fair and transparent justice system, which unfortunately does not occur in the regularity it should, as anybody can attest to who has ever visited magistrate or other courts and tribunals. Hopefully the Lord Chief Justice will take this interest as an opportunity to allow people to be able to participate in court proceedings even if so through the help of such new technology. Court reporting is in the tradition of the anglo-saxon court systems, as in the past such independent court reporters provided the documentation of case law used by all lawyers. In the new age of the Internet, which allows easier connections, this certainly opens up further opportunities for transparency and sunshine into the justice systems, provided this can be achieved without disturbing the proceedings themselves.

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