Lawyers get tablet computers

Tablet computers will be introduced to try and create paperless courts.
Photo / File
Tablet computers will be introduced to try and create paperless courts. Photo / File

Judges, jurors and barristers are to replace their traditional bundles with iPad-style devices in an attempt to create paperless courts.

Prosecutors will be given tablet devices that will contain all the evidence and documentation needed to conduct court hearings.

The scheme will later be extended to judges, jurors and defence barristers, eventually meaning courts can operate without paper.

All Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) departments in England and Wales are preparing to roll out the devices from April.

A mock trial is due to be held at Norwich Crown Court to test the system and prosecutors in Norfolk are to be given 35 Hewlett Packard tablets worth up to £1000 ($2000) each in preparation.

The CPS hopes the tablets will save at least £50 million by the time of the next parliament.

It is also hoped that police officers, who will be able to send evidence electronically, will be freed from paperwork.

Andrew Baxter, deputy chief Crown prosecutor for the East of England, said the cost of introducing the scheme was "pretty nominal" compared to the expected savings as the CPS deals with cuts of 25 per cent in the next four years.

Initially, the tablets will be tested in less serious cases in magistrates' courts before moving to Crown Courts.


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