Barristers will shortly be using video conferencing to communicate with clients and colleagues, thanks to a new system called the Bar Telecom Network.
The network was formally launched last week by Cherie Booth, wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair. Booth is chairwoman of the Bar Telecom Working Party, charged with deciding the best type of communications infrastructure for the Bar Council.
Energis is supplying the backbone of the communications network, with PictureTel as the video conferencing vendor. The contract with Energis is worth up to #1 million. PictureTel would not reveal the value of its order.
"In so far as it saves time and money for litigants, increases access to justice and decreases the fees of fat cat lawyers, the new network is an excellent idea," commented barrister Andrew Allen of Four Brick Court chambers. "I would certainly use it."
With the video conferencing system, participating chambers of barristers will be able to have consultations with clients, even those in prison, work together on cases and submit judicial applications to judges in other areas of the country. Barristers will also be able to access library resource material in the Inner Temple library.
The Bar Council examined the issue of communications for the past three years before finally plumping for the Energis offering. Mercury and BT were chief among the other vendors under consideration for the project.
Molybdenum ditelluride is a two-dimensional material that can be easily stacked into multiple layers to create a memory cell
New light-guiding nanoscale device can control and monitor a nanoparticle trapped in a laser beam with high sensitivity
Optical traps are scientific instruments in which a focused laser beam is used to exert an attractive or repulsive force on a microscopic object to hold it in place
Scientists estimate that the exoplanet has already lost up to 35 per cent of its mass over its lifetime
The observations were made using the Atacama Array in the Chilean desert