Apple iPad could be set for court after tablet trial

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PROSECUTORS are testing the use of tablet devices in court.

The computers are being used by fiscals depute in some sheriff court hearings in Falkirk, Perth and Lerwick. A special app is also electronically reviewing and managing case documents in court.

The cost of the pilot, including hardware, software and staff training, is said to be £310,000.

Catherine Dyer, chief executive of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, said it recognisedthe need for innovation and the use of new technology.

“This latest development follows previous successful initiatives using modern technology such as texting of witnesses,” she said.

“Prosecutors recognise the need to maximise our efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint. This pilot is expected to dramatically reduce the current need for huge amounts of paperwork, free up valuable staff time and further improve the security of our case information.”

The tablets are only being used in pleading and intermediate diets of summary cases and not in trials or in any part of cases heard before a jury, the Crown Office said.

The pilot will be evaluated and the scheme may be extended nationally later in the year.