Institutional memory in the Crown Prosecution Service is notoriously short.

Many years ago, when I ran a CPS branch, some genius at CPS HQ had the same idea of a paperless office. Two bright young things visited me uttering the dreadful words ‘pilot scheme’.

I asked: ‘What happens when one court finishes early and offers to help out the court next door? How is the transfer effected?’ They looked baffled and asked ‘does this happen?’.

I responded that it probably happened in every courthouse in the country every day of the week, and that the system would not work without it. Nobody actually appreciated CPS cooperating in this way, but that was irrelevant!

They looked horrified and said, sadly, ‘well, nobody has told us!’. They left, crestfallen, and nothing more was heard of the idea.With all the problems of government computer procurement, combined with defence intransigence and CPS management involvement, this idea is doomed to fail. I would put a small wager on no one having thought about cases being swapped between courts.

John Edwards,solicitor, Neston, Cheshire