Quebec courtrooms will be Twitter-free zones starting today as new rules governing the use of electronic communications and technology come into effect.

The new directives ban emails, tweets and text messages from the courtroom without the consent of a judge.

Lawyers and journalists will be able to use electronic devices for taking notes.

The rules come at a time when many reporters use social media tools to relay information in real time and draw readers to their websites.

Rules vary in the rest of Canada, but many provinces have opened the door to social media being used in court.

This year, Ontario Superior Court allowed tweeting for journalists and lawyers only.