UK Supreme Court To Take Up Tweeting

Published February 6, 2012 12:09AM (EST)

LONDON (AP) — The halls of Britain's Supreme Court are becoming a bit more high-tech, as the highest court in the land joins Twitter.

The Supreme Court is launching on the microblogging site Monday to issue realtime news on its latest judgments, court spokesman Ben Wilson said.

Wilson called the move an extension of the court's commitment to making its proceedings as accessible as possible and engage a new audience who might not be familiar with the court's work.

"From producing summaries of judgments to streaming proceedings live online, taking to Twitter is another step to opening the doors of the highest court in the land to as many people as possible," Wilson explained.

He said the court is eager to get the service up and running before justices prepare their judgment in WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition appeal, the most high profile case the court has heard since its opening in 2009.

"Twitter provides a channel to rapidly publish the outcome of this case, and others, to a large number of interested parties in a timely and efficient manner," Wilson said.

Assange is challenging whether Sweden's public prosecutor was qualified to issue a European Arrest warrant for his extradition — the latest chapter in his months-long fight against allegations of molestation and rape lodged by two women he met during a trip to Sweden in 2010.

A ruling in Assange's hearing, which took place last week, is not expected from Supreme Court justices for another few weeks.

While Britain's Supreme Court has allowed tweeting from its courtrooms on most occasions since February 2011, Wilson said Monday marks the first time the court itself will post to the microblogging site.

To kick off the new service, the Supreme Court plans to tweet live updates from the swearing-in ceremony of new justice Robert Reed on Monday .

The account will be managed by the Court's communications team.



By Salon Staff

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