Scotland’s prosecuting authority, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), plans to replace paper in many court cases with iPads.

In a project being run jointly with outsourcer Capgemini, COPFS aims to improve support to its lawyers by providing easy and rapid access to the documentation required for cases via iPads, replacing large piles - or even trolleys - of paper being taken into the courtroom.

Capgemini is helping to prove the validity of the new paperless approach in a pilot project that is now under way at Falkirk, Perth and Lerwick courts.

At this stage it is only proposed that tablet devices will be used in summary cases (pleading diets and intermediate diets). They will not be used in summary trials or any part of cases before a jury.

Catherine Dyer, crown agent and chief executive of COPFS, said: "This development follows on previous successful initiatives using modern technology, such as texting of witnesses."

Dyer said: "Prosecutors recognise the need to maximise our efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint. This pilot is expected to dramatically reduce the current need for huge amounts of paperwork, free up valuable staff time and further improve the security of our case information."

Following the pilot an evaluation will be carried out with a view to starting a national roll out later in the year.

Capgemini has developed bespoke applications customised to the needs of COPFS lawyers.

The outsourcer is also providing security systems to protect access to the data held centrally and on the mobile devices.