Grieve continued: “The internet is a haystack of material, scattered with the odd prejudicial needle, as it were. Trial by Google allows a juror to locate the haystack, find the needle, pull it out and ascribe significance to it that it simply would never have had otherwise. It takes a minor risk and turns it into a major risk.”
‘Trial by Google’, his shorthand term for jurors searching the internet, “offends some foundational principles of our legal system. The first principle is that a conviction, or for that matter an acquittal, should be based on evidence adduced in court, in accordance with established rules of evidence, subject to the supervision of the judge.
“Trial by Google [also] offends the principle of open justice. It should be clear to the defendant, the public, the victim and the prosecution what the evidence in the case is. If a jury is exposed to prejudicial material which, for whatever reason, is not before the court, the basis on which the defendant is convicted or acquitted will never be known.”
Internet: Change happens without you.