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Court-based tweeting increases risk of mistrial, Lord Judge warns

The risk of fairness to the trial is seriously compromised by jurors tweeting and researching on the

Court-based tweeting and internet research by jurors are likely to increase the risk of a mistrial, the Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, warned on Friday.

It is all too easy for campaigners to attack the microblogging site with messages in an attempt to influence the outcome of a hearing, he said, adding that the jurors must stop misusing the internet if the jury system has to survive.

"We cannot stop people tweeting, but if jurors look at such material, the risks to the fairness of the trial will be very serious, and ultimately the openness of the trial process on which we all rely would be damaged," he added.

He suggested that every juror must be provided with information on the consequences of misusing the internet.