Uganda: Judges Warned Over Facebook, Twitter

Digital Content

Judges and magistrates have been warned over the dangers of using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, with a call that their messages could jeopardise the cases that they have been assigned.

The warning was issued on Wednesday by the secretary general of the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association (CMJA), Dr. Karen Brewer.

She was speaking at the 16th Triennial Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Conference at the Commonwealth Resort in Munyonyo. Brewer noted the importance of social media as a marketing tool but asked the judges and magistrates to exercise restraint and caution when posting some comments.

"Many individuals use it for personal information. However, a judge must not put issues that are controversial because they could be used against them," Brewer said.

She also advised judges and magistrates to ensure that their private conversations are not placed in the public domain because they could be used by unscrupulous people against them.

Brewer also noted that criminal law must keep pace with technological development. He stated that prosecution of cybercrime has become difficult since a person who commits it does not necessarily have to be in an area.

Justice David Hope, the Right Honourable Lord Hope of Craighead in the UK, cautioned judges against getting agitated when hearing cases.