Judge was out of his bounds when he banned a local reporter from covering a trial with Coveritlive, a Norwegian court of appeal has ruled.
In May a local court banned a reporter from Mecom-owned Drammens Tidende from using Coveritlive (CIL) to cover a court case, arguing that it may lead witnesses to adjust their explanations after following the live coverage and reader comments on CIL. The newspaper took the decision to an appeal court together with Norway's public broadcaster (NRK), whose local branch would also be affected by the ban.
About two hours ago, as I was first to report here (in Norwegian), news broke the appeal court had held in favour of the claimants - ruling that according to Norwegian law you either decide to open the trial for reporters fully or partially, but the law does not give a judge authority to issue additional regulations for how a reporter may cover a trial. I spoke to NRK's inhouse lawyer Jon Wessel-Aas who was very happy with the outcome and said principally it was an important case as it would set precendece.
Update 24.06.2009 10:30 CET: See also Laura Oliver's interview with Drammens Tidende's editor-in-chief about the case over at Journalism.co.uk