The end of the road for court stenographers

From The Law Society Gazette 28/04/11:

The quiet tapping of the court stenographer will be silenced by next year to be replaced with a high-tech recording system.

The Digital Audio Recording Transcription and Storage (Darts) will begin rollout in June 2011 and finish in March 2012 at each of the 97 Crown and combined court sites in England and Wales.

Darts has been piloted at seven Crown Court sites since October 2009, and the Ministry of Justice said the system offers clear audio quality and backup, easy playback and a faster transcription service.

A spokesperson for Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) said the new technology will mean the end for court loggers during proceedings, with the system updated by court clerks when witnesses are called, evidence is given and points of law granted.

‘As this link between the systems has been built, there is no longer a requirement for HMCTS to continue to use loggers and stenographers,’ she added.

stenographerOh no!  I can’t help but feel that the loss of stenographers from the courts is a bit of a shame.  
I wonder what the re-employment prospects are for these poor souls who have been put out to pasture?  

And wasn’t their soft tapping slightly therapeutic?  I’ve heard it rumoured that some of the more experienced ones tapped slightly louder when they sensed the judge was nodding off as well. 

So who’s going to fulfil that role now they’re going? Thinking smile
Progress is painful sometimes.


  1. Damn.

    Another career in law bites the dust.

    Another avenue closed to joking barristers everywhere!!!

    (Just as I was getting good at taking shorthand notes, too.)

    Damn, Damn DAMN......!

  2. I know... awful isn't it Minxy.

    The entire legal profession will be computerised, mechanised, robotised (oh, and outsourced) within a few years!


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