Tablets In The Courts For Judges
We recently spotted an interesting article in the Law Society Gazette. The Gazette is great if you want to follow news and changes in the legal system. It is aimed at those working in the legal profession but it is even a good read for businesses and individuals. If you get the time, check it out.
The article was about a recent pilot in which Judges were given tablets to use as an aid to their day to day activities. It was estimated a total of £42,900 had been spent supplying tablets in the courts. The aim was to allow Judges to access electronic books.
However, the pilot ended with the tablets being taking away and the access to electronic books and resources for the Judges reverting back to desktops and laptops.
Our experience of tablets in the legal profession is that they are great for email and reading resources such as PLC or Lexis Nexis, which are two of the most standard resources used by solicitors, barristers and Judges. They are also useful for accessing free information such as the Civil Procedure Rules and case law. Include links.
However, we find that tablets fall down when it comes to creating documents, whether it be a Word document, spreadsheet or court form. Tablets with Bluetooth keyboards just don’t give the same experience and flexibility of using a standard keyboard and mouse. Nor do they don’t have the same simplicity of printing from a computer.
Our verdict is that tablets have their place and uses. However, they are not going to replace a desktop or laptop. They are a nice and useful luxury.
As the article in the Gazette mentions, the fact that tablets in the courts have been taken away from Judges reduces the risk of them playing Angry Birds or Candy Crush Saga during a trial but they may well be taking away a useful resource!