Southwark Crown Court

Jurors handed iPads to reduce paperwork

A London court has for the first time today allowed jurors to use iPads during a trial as part of a pilot project to reduce paperwork in the courtroom.

The technology will allow the jury members to view evidence and read witness statements at the tap of a button, instead of having to trawl through large paper folders with documents.

The trial, being held at Southwark Crown Court, is scheduled to last for three months and looks into a fraud case overseen by Judge Michael Gledhill QC.

The first step in the court’s digitalisation, the case represents the first time in the court’s 30-year history when digital technology is being used to reduce the amount of paper consumed.

PA reported the trial experienced a few problems during the first day as some of the jurors struggled to understand the technology, with the judge himself accidently reading out loud his password in front of the court room.

After having been advised by an assisting IT expert to protect his password more carefully, the judge replied: "I don't see a problem telling everyone what my password is - I trust them."

There were further groans from the judge after initially struggling to change his colour scheme from purple to yellow, while he prompted a few sniggers from counsel when he muttered innocently: "Nothing's popped up on my screen."

The first paperless trial was held in Birmingham in 2013. There have been less than a dozen since that time.

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