• February 23, 2024
 Brand new guide to help public easily access court hearings

Brand new guide to help public easily access court hearings

A brand new guide has been published by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and HM Courts and Tribunals Services (HMCTS) to help the public easily access court hearings.

This guide are being encouraged to see how justice is done in courtrooms with the publication of a new and simple ‘how to’ guide for attending court hearings today.

This is the first ever easy-to-use guide published to help people access court hearing, with an aiming being that they want to encourage the public to know their rights to support open justice (and follows the successful Reporters’ Charter to boost transparency in justice system).

There are around two million court and tribunals hearings every year and this eight-page document sets out in one place how people can access many of them.

Whether it be murder trials or employment law cases (and everything in between), the guide explains the different types of courts and tribunals, how to observe a court hearing, which areas of court are open to the public and what to expect once inside the court.

It also includes details like what to do before a hearing and how to access Wi-Fi in court buildings, and directs people to further resources for more information.

Mike Freer, Justice Minister, said:

“Open and transparent courts are a key principle of our justice system and it is vital people can see for themselves how justice is done.

This guide is another way we are lifting the curtain for the public to help them easily observe trials, tribunals and hearings.”

This is a further attempt to support the principle of open justice, with the guide also helping HMCTS staff in aiding members of the public access hearings, and to support those attending for the first time. Which in turn should help legal professionals.

The guide follows a move last year to allow cameras to film some sentencing remarks by judges in Crown Courts which enables more people to see inside the courts as justice is served.

Read the guide here, it also might be one to share with clients.

Rebecca Morgan, Editor

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