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iPads in court

iPads will now be a regular feature during court proceedings in Lerwick

LERWICK Sheriff Court is at the forefront of introducing the latest IT technology to legal proceedings.

Procurators fiscal in Lerwick, Perth and Falkirk are currently piloting iPads to present cases in court.

The £310,000 scheme, designed to make the work of the Crown Office more efficient, is likely to be rolled out across the country later this year.

Last week visiting procurator depute Andrew Richardson read from an iPad while addressing Sheriff Philip Mann on a number of road traffic cases.

Sheriff Mann, himself adept in the use of IT, has been using a laptop for making notes for many years.

COPFS chief executive Catherine Dyer

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said a specially designed app is being used by prosecutors to review and manage case documents electronically in court.

At present tablet devices will be used in summary cases and not in trials or any part of cases before a jury.

COPFS chief executive Catherine Dyer said: “This latest development follows on previous successful initiatives using modern technology such as texting of witnesses.

“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.”

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