From 1 October 2013, the South Australian Supreme Court has permitted lawyers and journalists to tweet from within the courtroom, enabling instantaneous reports on court verdicts, sentences and outcomes of bail applications. However, the new rules require a 15 minute delay if the information concerns a piece of evidence or a submission made. This ensures the Court can rule on any application for suppression or objection of the evidence or submission before it is communicated to the public.
Interestingly, while South Australia moved to embrace social media, New South Wales passed legislation to prohibit its use from the courtroom. The amendment to the Court Security Act 2005 (NSW) prohibits the use of any device to transmit information that forms part of the court proceedings. Journalists or members of the public found tweeting from the courtroom face fines of up to $2,200 and one year’s imprisonment.