Following our posting of a Supreme Court information wish list we have become aware of some interesting ways in which Supreme Courts round the world communicate with the wider public. For many years the Supreme Courts of a large number of countries have had websites, but some are going further.

C-Span – the US Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network – is dedicated to airing non-stop coverage of government proceedings and public affairs programming.   Its Facebook page announces Supreme Court week – beginning on 4 October and featuring, among other things, interviews with ScotUSBlog and with all nine justices.    We would have suggested the same for BBC Parliament – although now the Supreme Court has gone off on its own we need a “BBC Court Channel”.

Increased broadcasting almost certainly promotes awareness. C-Span’s latest poll notes that while “90% of Americans say the Court has an impact on their everyday lives, only 50% could name a case”. A UK comparison may not be very favourable.

So how might things change…

YouTube? The US Supreme Court  has not yet followed the Indiana State Court, which established its own YouTube channel over a year ago consisting principally of official videos explaining how the Court works. However, we already have a Parliament YouTube channel which has occasionally posted videos performing a similar function, so something similar for the Supreme Court may be in the works.

The Canadian Supreme Court not only publishes webcasts of its hearings but has recently established a  twitter feed, with a link to each new decision in a tweet. But that may bring its own risks: earlier this year it was reported that the US Supreme Court had to confirm that a twitter feed purporting to originate from the Court had no official connection.

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