IT, the jury's friend

Judge May's comments in The Times about the courts' adoption of information technology after the abandonment of a mortgage fraud trial, home in on a point often overlooked in the IT debate.

The argument is usually conducted in terms of the increased efficiency that the new technologies bring through their ability to process, store and retrieve data speedily. The need for more use of IT in case management was among the points put by City firm Simmons & Simmons in its submission to Lord Woolf's study, following a client survey.

Important though the efficiency argument is, the judge's point is that a proper use of IT in the court room allows complicated evidence to be presented in a way comprehensible to juries, as he found in a u43 million fraud trial he was involved in.

If we really believe in the jury system, isn't it about time that we invest in systems that can make justice work? The cost will be considerably less than abandoning trials.