A U.K. court in the city of Manchester will pilot a program to hold "plea and directions hearings," usually given before a trial, over the Internet. The move is expected to save the
cost of courtroom overhead as well avoid unnecessary inconvenience for the participants and their lawyers. During the hearings, a defendant submits a plea and the government
decides which court--either Crown or magistrates--will judge the case. Through the pilot, lawyers would be able to submit paperwork and detailed arguments online.
U.K. lawyer Christopher Murray says, "As a practitioner, I welcome any way of making more efficient any of the court procedures. A large
number of hearings take place that are unnecessarily cumbersome and expensive."