This article explores how four Australian courts are using Twitter to disclose information about decisions as well as to advise about court appointments, media reports and administrative matters. It examines the categories of information being tweeted, the effectiveness or otherwise of the Twitter accounts and identifies the risks and challenges associated with this use.
From interviews with court officers, media officers and managers, it was found that the Twitter accounts were working well and had developed a new channel of communication, albeit a one-way channel, with a new audience for higher level courts at least. The interviews also found that the risks associated with courts using a social media tool like Twitter were few, despite the concerns of some academics and lawyers. As with any organisation, there needs to be support for the use of the tool by senior management to ensure that the information being communicated remains relevant and of interest to recipients and does not become a miniature version of its website.
Emeritus Professor Margaret Jackson, LLB (Melb), PhD (Melb), MBus (RMIT), Grad Dip Cont Ed (UNE).
Dr Marita Shelly, BBus (RMIT), PhD (RMIT), Grad Dip Info Man (RMIT).
The authors acknowledge the funding provided by the AuDA Foundation for this project and support from the CRC Smart Services.
© 2012 Journal of Law, Information & Science and Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania.