UK courts go high tech

Courtrooms get wired to the Net as part of the government's drive to offer all its services electronically by 2008

UK courts are to be wired as the government announces a £32m spend, intended to modernise the judicial system Friday.

The measures are part of the government's determination to offer all its services electronically by 2008. The money will be spent on fitting out courtrooms with the latest technology -- PCs and email will be used to allow court clerks to record all sentences onto the system and electronic evidence will be permitted.

The Internet will be used to provide information about cases and court procedures and information kiosks will be fitted in court buildings to let people know what is happening in each courtroom.

It is estimated high tech will result in a 20 percent saving on court time. Attorney General Lord Williams believes the use of modern technology will enhance the presentation of cases. "This funding will help both prosecution and defence in more cases to put complicated evidence before the courts," he says in a statement.

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