In a surprising development in technology, attorneys in the UK courts have been provided with HP TouchPads for maintaining digital copies of their documents pertaining to their ongoing cases. Lawyers of the Crown Prosecution Service will have access to 35 HP TouchPads into which the police will be feeding information directly. These TouchPads cost £1,000 ($1,560) each and are expected to accrue savings of around £50 million ($78 million) by the time the next parliament is in session.
However, being a pilot project, hard copies will also be maintained during the initial stages. The cases will also be minor in nature to check for bugs in the entire system, though the aim of the entire development is to create a paperless work environment for the lawyers. Initially, cases that are restricted to the magistrates’ courts will try out the TouchPads before the tablets are introduced to the Crown courts as well.
The project is slated to kick off during the month of April, though the TouchPads entirely confirmed as the final carrier device of the project. Going with the TouchPad tablet may not be a very logical step now that HP had dropped the WebOS tablet from its list of products. The iPad has turned out as the device of choice for most other projects of similar nature. As such, it shouldn’t be too surprising if some re-thinking is done on the choice of suitable hardware (in place of the TouchPads) for the CPS project.
A spokeswoman for Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service said: “Norwich crown court is participating in a mock trial to test possible ways of working digitally in the crown courts nationwide.
“The results of this work will help inform the planning for delivery nationally.
“By April 2012 the aim is to have all criminal justice system agencies transferring information digitally.”