New court reporting rules come into effect from today

New court reporting rules have come into effect from today.

The guidelines relate to what information journalists can obtain from the various courts in the county in relation to criminal and civil cases.

Up until yesterday, there was no legal basis under which court officials could give information to journalists; while it was not illegal to do so, no guidelines controlled the dissemination of details.

A High Court ruling in 2013 found that members of the public were entitled to have access to documents that are opened in court.

The Courts Service has informed Radio Kerry News that access to the following will now be guaranteed to journailsts: the names of persons involved in a criminal trial, their address, date of birth, the charge they’re facing and the outcome of any trial or hearing.

Judges can still issue orders barring the publication of certain details, where deemed necessary.

In relation to civil cases, any documents opened in court and relied upon in evidence can be given to journalists in full.

In the amendment to the law, journalists are exempt from GDPR restrictions if they are sourcing the information for the purpose of publication, whether or not the information ends up being published.

The amendment came into effect at midnight last night.