Social media's serious threat to the possibility of a fair trial
Published 12/07/2016 | 02:30
Social media poses perhaps the biggest risk to our legal system in 2016, and judges' instructions are futile in tackling the issue. Particularly in high-profile cases, where vast amounts of conventional media coverage and social media comment have tumbled around the Twittersphere for months before a trial, the defendant's constitutional right to a fair trial is surely compromised.
Social media by its very nature is an under-regulated cauldron of opinion, often inflammatory opinion, where users can espouse views that are unconscionable, unwarranted, or just downright false and defamatory about an individual, without repercussion.
Whether a person has been charged or not, by Irish law they are innocent until their guilt is proven in court. That should be a most basic right for every citizen.