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The Royal Courts of Justice and six other courts around the UK have been kitted out with wireless Internet "hotspots" as part of measures to help modernise the legal system.

The BT Openzones will enable the public, jurors and others at the courts to access the Internet, without the need to plug into a telephone line.

The Royal Courts of Justice in London as well as Southwark, Birmingham and Swansea Crown Courts, and combined courts in Winchester, Liverpool and Leeds are to take part in the three-year pilot scheme.

Said courts minister Christopher Leslie: "Lawyers, jurors, expert witnesses and the public will be able to access the Internet or their office files while waiting to be called to court. It makes delay during proceedings more productive and less inconvenient for those attending court."

The Law Society said that the move "demonstrates that the courts are moving with the times and benefiting from the most up-to-date technology". However, it warned that it would only prove popular "if confidentiality and security is guaranteed for each user".

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