Jersey politicians suggest trial of laptops during debates

Jersey's politicians could start using laptops and other portable computers during live debates in the States.

Previous requests to use them in the assembly have been turned down, but members are being asked to reconsider.

At the moment members are fined if their mobile phones go off or interfere with the microphones used to broadcast and record sessions.

The Privileges and Procedures Committee has called for a trial to see how the system would work.

The committee also suggested that mobile data connections on phones that interfere with microphones should be switched off.

This is over concern they would interfere with the sound of the broadcast if members are allowed to use hand-held devices like smart phones.

Two years ago the Bailiff, Sir Michael Birt, ruled that using laptops and other devices might distract members from debates.

He claimed the temptation to do other work rather than concentrate on what was being said would be too great.

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