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.