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Courts to Test Using HP Tablets as Paper Replacement

By - Source: Press Association (via Google) | B 22 comments

UK lawyers will get tablets to use during court proceedings. Did someone just find a huge stash of HP TouchPads?

Norwich Crown Court is set to hold a mock trial to test a new tablet system that hopes to replace all paper in the courtroom with tablets. As part of the trial, 35 prosecutors in Norfolk given HP tablets to use instead of paper during court proceedings. Worth up to £1000-a-piece, the tablets scheme is expected to be rolled out across all Crown Prosecution Services departments sometime next year.

The Press Association reports that the scheme is an effort to save money. The tablets will at first be used in less serious cases in magistrates' courts before moving to crown courts. Eventually, courts across England and Wales will distribute tablets to judges, jurors and barristers. The roll-out is to start from April next year and CPS says it will save £50 million across the country by the time of the next parliament.

Though the cost of giving a £1000 tablet to every judge, juror and barrister will be high, Andrew Baxter, deputy chief Crown prosecutor for the East of England, told the Press Association that the price was nominal compared to the savings the scheme would bring, along with the 25 percent cuts the CPS will see over the next four years. Baxter added that hard copies of documents would still be available in the early stages of the scheme, just in case there are glitches.

It's not yet clear what kind of tablets will be used, nor which OS the devices will run. We'll update this post if this information becomes available.

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  • 18 Hide
    leandrodafontoura , December 3, 2011 3:26 PM
    Finally, the future is happening
  • 6 Hide
    memadmax , December 3, 2011 3:46 PM
    Nice. Here in the US it would be slightly harder to implement however. Hard copies of each finding would be required. Plus there would be court cases challenging the devices' credibility due to them being electronic and easy to manipulate.
  • Display all 22 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    KonstantinDK , December 3, 2011 4:36 PM
    And how do they put seal and signatures on those? I mean there are e-signatures, but... Not all americans know what it means yet.
  • 0 Hide
    del35 , December 3, 2011 5:15 PM
    They would be wiser to use a Toshiba Thrive. Why? User replaceable batteries and lots of connectivity.
  • 2 Hide
    damianrobertjones , December 3, 2011 5:18 PM
    Dumb. Why £1000? Dell Latitude ST Slate.

    P.s. Android for business? No thank you. Active directory and group policy for the win.
  • 5 Hide
    mcd023 , December 3, 2011 5:49 PM
    um, instead of giving the tablet with the document that you want, couldn't you make a simple delivery system and just send them the doc and have it show up on a recently received list over the local network?
  • 0 Hide
    anony2004 , December 3, 2011 7:27 PM
    leandrodafontouraFinally, the future is happening

    So true, the future is definitely here.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , December 3, 2011 7:52 PM
    mcd023um, instead of giving the tablet with the document that you want, couldn't you make a simple delivery system and just send them the doc and have it show up on a recently received list over the local network?


    Yeah, I mean in Star Trek, an Ensign gives a tablet to the Lieutenant officer instead of just sending it to the Lieutenant's tablet, which doesn't make much sense either. Shipping tablets around will be costly. I bet the cost to run the Turbolifts in the Enterprise D would be a lot lower.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 3, 2011 9:34 PM
    mcd023um, instead of giving the tablet with the document that you want, couldn't you make a simple delivery system and just send them the doc and have it show up on a recently received list over the local network?


    danwat1234Yeah, I mean in Star Trek, an Ensign gives a tablet to the Lieutenant officer instead of just sending it to the Lieutenant's tablet, which doesn't make much sense either. Shipping tablets around will be costly. I bet the cost to run the Turbolifts in the Enterprise D would be a lot lower.


    The problem with this approach is the shift of focus that occurs. Each tablet is designated a certain function and that function only. If we were to use your Star Trek example, the Ensign is probably only uses the tablet for data and not for processing of said data. Utilizing the tablet for more than one purpose is usually what creates confusion. If we're talking computers, I have one machine for gaming and another for work. If I started doing work on my gaming computer, believe me when I say I would resort to gaming when I really should only be doing work.
  • 0 Hide
    igot1forya , December 4, 2011 12:27 AM
    LCARS interface anyone?

    Soooooooon....
  • 0 Hide
    shin0bi272 , December 4, 2011 4:38 AM
    This could be cooler and way faster. No longer will they have to pack up an envelope for your case and put it in a box for such and such a date then make sure that box isnt lost or left in the clerks office etc the day of the trial. This way the jury, lawyers, and judge can have all the docs and pics and so forth that they need at the swipe of a finger. It should make trials go much faster... of course now you'll need paper conversion to digital media but that shouldnt be a problem with those kodak 200ppm/400ipm color scanners they have now. Just export that to pdf and boom... trial in a file.
  • 1 Hide
    husker , December 4, 2011 4:57 AM
    PC's were going to make things paperless. Then laptops were really going to make things paperless. The reason that neither of these 2 events made things paperless is that people like and want paper. As soon as a document is paperless, people start printing it out and filing it away so that they have a paper copy.
  • 0 Hide
    internetlad , December 4, 2011 5:43 PM
    probably fell off the back of a truck.
  • 0 Hide
    nottheking , December 4, 2011 6:15 PM
    £1,000? (About $1,570 US, last I checked) Is that what TouchPads are up to on eBay now? :p 

    In a more serious tone, I am curious to see what these are; chances are it's not TouchPads. Part of the price likely has to do with proprietary modifications in order to meed the security requirements demanded.

    Also good to hear about this. I was getting kinda sick how the media would report every time some high-profile business would adopt iPads, (including, IIRC, a courthouse in the USA) but never mentioned it when any competitor's tablet got the same adoption.
  • 1 Hide
    _Cubase_ , December 5, 2011 3:01 AM
    Well of course they would not be using Apple or Samsung Tablets in court... they are usually the subject of the court cases!
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , December 5, 2011 2:36 PM
    Going to need a way to make sure that documents have not been modified since they were submitted. That's one of the functions of the Clerks of the Court here in New York; they have a copy of every legal document and hearing transcript. That copy is definitive.

    Perhaps a checksum signed by an absolutely trustworthy time server? It's a difficult thing to make secure. Imagine if the judge ordered 20 years in the clink, and a hacker changed it to 2 hours of community service!
  • 0 Hide
    iamtheking123 , December 5, 2011 3:21 PM
    WyomingKnottImagine if the judge ordered 20 years in the clink, and a hacker changed it to 2 hours of community service!


    That can still happen today regardless of the paper copy. In my experience 99% of the time, once the paper copy is written/signed it disappears into oblivion. Ask your bank to produce the "ink signature" of your mortgage. Watch how many months it takes them to find it. This was a common trick for avoiding foreclosure.
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , December 5, 2011 3:27 PM
    iamtheking123

    May be true of your bank, but I was specifically referring to court documents that are part of the record. These are not lost; I can walk into the Clerk's office, give an index number, and have the official originals put in front of me within ten minutes.

    Forgery and alteration are still possible, but harder than if the official version resides on a tablet or a file server somewhere.
  • 0 Hide
    shin0bi272 , December 5, 2011 3:27 PM
    WyomingKnottGoing to need a way to make sure that documents have not been modified since they were submitted. That's one of the functions of the Clerks of the Court here in New York; they have a copy of every legal document and hearing transcript. That copy is definitive. Perhaps a checksum signed by an absolutely trustworthy time server? It's a difficult thing to make secure. Imagine if the judge ordered 20 years in the clink, and a hacker changed it to 2 hours of community service!

    Theres actually software that checks whether or not a file has been changed in any way I forget the name of it though.

    @husker: with the cloud growing now that might change. More files available anywhere via a secure tunnel means wider adoption of the technology. When you can scribble down notes via a finger or stylus and have the handwriting recognized flawlessly people will abandon paper.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 5, 2011 4:56 PM
    Soon they will be compromised with software to spy on court cases, and possible adjustment of court notes and transcriptions. Paper is much more tamper resistant and worth the extra cost.
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