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December 4, 2011

Tablet devices to replace paper in courts of England, Wales

Devices will be rolled out from April for all Crown Prosecution Service departments

By Vinod

Tablet devices, with all the evidence and documentation needed to conduct court hearings, will be given to prosecutors and the scheme will be later on extended to judges, jurors and defence barristers in a bid to make courts operate without paper.

These devices will be rolled out from April for all Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) departments in England and Wales.

To prepare for this rollout, a mock trial has been scheduled to be held at Norwich crown court to test the system and prosecutors in Norfolk are reportedly to be given 35 Hewlett-Packard tablets costing about £1,000 each.The CPS is expecting to save at least £50m by the time of the next parliament.

The deputy chief crown prosecutor for the east of England Andrew Baxter said the cost of the scheme was "pretty nominal" compared with expected savings. He said it was the biggest change he had witnessed in his career of prosecution for 18 years.

The scheme, named Transforming Through Technology, will cover the courts and tribunals service, the police, the CPS and other criminal justice agencies.

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