Having just spent another couple of days frantically scribbling notes of the evidence being given and the judgment, I am again at a loss to understand why the lawyers involved in proceedings are not allowed to record them electronically.
It is quite ridiculous that we should have to make a manual note, whether by pen or by keyboard. It is a massive waste of time and effort that could be far better invested in actually listening to and analysing what is being said. It would be extremely easy to arrange accurate recordings – all laptops and even smartphones now have recording facilities – and with contemporary equipment there would be no inconvenience to the court.
Most importantly, at a time when we are all supposedly trying to cut costs, it would avoid the delay and expense involved in obtaining a transcript and simplify the preparation of attendance notes. Having a proper record would also be extremely useful even within the trial – I have often seen the judge ask the parties to look at their notes of what was said, only to be presented with a couple of different versions or no record at all.
I cannot see that there would be any downside to this suggestion, yet in its proposals for limited broadcasting published last year, the Ministry of Justice stated that the proposals would only allow ‘accredited journalists’ to make recordings.
I intend to write to the MoJ about this, but before doing so I would be interested to hear any views opposing the suggestion.
Michael Loveridge, Clitheroe