Court transcripts

How does stenotype work?
Here is a picture of a stenotype keyboard, and here is a definition of computer-aided transcription (CAT, which to me means computer-aided translation):

This is a stenotype machine producing paper notes. It simultaneously produces an electronic duplicate of what is contained on the paper notes. The electronic notes are fed directly into a computer that translates the notes into English. The reporter reviews and edits the translated material on the computer screen, then makes a direct printout of the transcript. The technology
greatly speeds the production of transcripts, while also making transcripts immediately available on disk for interested parties.

There is a picture of some steno machine output and description of it at this site for distance learning of court reporting.

Complete transcripts of court hearings are something you encounter in English and U.S. courts, but not in German courts. The O.J.Simpson trial showed a court where attorneys and judge saw the transcript on their computer screens almost in real time. And the Hutton Inquiry (investigating the death of David Kelly), as already mentioned, is using a lot of the latest technology.

The Times online (registration is free) has an article by Richard Susskind, who writes on IT matters, on the Hutton Enquiry technology.

It gives a link to www.livenote.com about transcriptions.

Lord Hutton and the eight legal teams have had continuous access to these transcripts and images of evidence in a court reminiscent of a Nasa control room, with 44 desktop flat screens and four large plasma screens.

The public has had remarkably open access to the transcripts and evidence through the inquiry’s website, designed and maintained by the Court Service and the Department for Constitutional Affairs … Since mid-August it has had, on average, 10,000 visitors a day.

Here is a transcript of Lord Hutton’s opening statement.

A few years ago it was hard to get transcripts. Now many are free at the www.bailii.org.uk site.
Here is a transcript of the case known as MacLibel, described as:

Transcribed from the stenotype notes of
Barnett Lenton & Company,
61 Carey Street, London WC2A 2JG
(Telephone 0171-405-2345)

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