Judge allows usage of Twitter in court during Assange bail hearing

Chief Magistrate said that reporters could send tweets as long as they did so quietly

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's bail hearing made history when the district judge announced that he would allow live updates of the hearing to be communicated via microblogging site Twitter.

Although there is no rule banning the use of mobile phones in court, in practice, recording equipment and television cameras are prohibited during hearings.

Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle said that reporters could send tweets as long as they did so quietly, without disturbing the court.

Times journalist Alexi Mostrous was the first reporter to do tweet the proceedings of the hearing on Tuesday.

Last month, the Lord Chief Justice asked how filing a story or sending a report through e-mail from a laptop in a court was any different from using Twitter.

A spokesman for the judiciary said the seniors are "actively considering" the questions raised by the Lord Chief Justice regarding the use of Twitter.