Credit to the Ministry of Justice for cutting its spending on paper by £300,000 this year – but somehow the department still managed to rack up a bill of £2.9m in 2012/13.

A spokesman for the MoJ said the department had been busy digitising court services and had introduced a new digital tool for making lasting powers of attorney online.

‘By also doing simple things such as encouraging staff to print double-sided and using a single government-wide contract we are cutting down on waste,’ he said.

However, at the current rate of paper spend Obiter estimates the department won’t be fully digital until 2023 at the earliest. And even then, given the parlous state of IT in the civil courts, we wouldn’t hold our breath.