Court-based tweeting and internet research by jurors are threatening trial by jury, Lord Judge, the UK lord chief justice, has warned.
He said that if juries were to survive, then jurors must stop using the internet and breaches might be punished as a contempt of court.
He also warned that sending Twitter messages about potentially prejudicial court material could risk a mistrial.
He added: “We ... assume that the occasions when jurors go to the internet for information are rare indeed. It is therefore easy to brush them aside as odd moments I wonder whether we will still be thinking that in a year or two from now.”
Lord Judge even suggested sending text messages from court buildings should be banned.