Fears over ‘trial by Twitter’ after Harvey Weinstein saga

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Nov 09, 2017
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Harvey Weinstein has been accused of rape and sexual assault

Robyn Beck/AFP

The frenzy of sexual harassment allegations after the Harvey Weinstein scandal in Hollywood raised the risk of “trial by social media”, the UK’s former top judge said.

Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury told the Women Leaders in Law conference in London yesterday that there was “always a risk” that modern communication technology would trigger injustices.

Dozens of allegations ranging from sexual harassment to assault and rape have been levelled against Weinstein, with claims of harassment made against Westminster politicians.

Lord Neuberger said it was worrying that social media sites were replete with speculation about the claims, but concern had to be balanced with the right to freedom of speech.

He added that the prospect of a senior legal figure being implicated in the allegations could not be ruled out.

“Despite what people might think, lawyers and judges are human beings too,” he said.

 

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