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Does fast-paced social media have a place in our justice system?

The Courts and the Media in the Digital Era held at Bond University last week was regarded as a successful symposium by all in attendance, according to Director of the Centre for Law, Governance and Public Policy and law Professor Patrick Keyzer.

Tensions between social media and the justice system were explored as politicians, journalists and key judges from across the country discussed the public's right to know and the individual's right to a fair trial.

News Limited chairman and chief executive John Hartigan started off the symposium with a keynote speech. The Chief Justice of Queensland, the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, followed with his own personal insights on the progress of courts using modern technology over the past decade.

Other keynote speakers included The Honourable George Brandis SC Shadow Attorney-General and Senator for Queensland.

“There must be free access, absent compelling privacy concerns, and likewise, suppression orders, which have become commonplace in some jurisdictions elsewhere, should be an absolute rarity,” said the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC.

John Hartigan, shared his views on the topic “Without openness the administration of justice is not possible. The public have a right to understand and witness in action the laws that govern them.”

Professors from Bond, journalists, and other government officials also spoke and further focused on the role of court information officers, trial by media, suppression orders and the rise of social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

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