Public Gallery Crown Courts Watch

honestly
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Hi

Has anyone sat in the Public gallery within the crown court? whats it like?
the main question is how do i go about to sit in one, im 18, preparing to study law and interested in a career in law, ive been told that sitting in the public gallery will be the best place to see advocay at its best, but dont know how to go about attending? is there any formalities? dress? btw im in liverpool




peace out

honestly
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CharlieDurham
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Hi,

It's really easy. I'm 15, and I've been doing it for months now. In Britain, we are supposed to have a transparent justice system, and therefore we are allowed in any court room, anywhere in the land.

In my local crown court (Newcastle), all you do is walk in, empty your pockets and go through a metal detector (airport style), and pick your stuff up on the other side. You then just look on the notice, or TV screens, and they have the schedule for each court room, as there are usually quite a few individual courts.

Pick one, and then you can just go in. My advice is to wait until the court usher calls the next person in, or go in just before the trial/session starts, and wait. Don't go in when the usher calls straight off, otherwise he will obviously think you are the accused. just wait until they've gone back in again for about 10 seconds, then walk in. Make sure everything is turned off (phone, iPod etc.), because if you disturb them they get majorly pissed off. If you are caught video recording or taking pictures etc. you can be fined, and then sent to prison for up to 2 years!!!!!!!

The advice I got on my first visit was not to take notes during the trial,, but to remeber and copy them out afterwards, because you need to ask the judge permission to make notes otherwise (not a nice job ).

The seats in Newcastle are just on the same level as the rest of the court room (not a gallery as such, just seperated by a low bit of wood and some tinted glass, though you can see and hear everything).

Just be confident and stride in, because I was furtive-looking on my first attempt, and my friend and I got weird looks from the clerks.
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CharlieDurham
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And dress doesn't matter as such, as long as it's appropriate. I always just stick with a dark jumper and jeans.
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rachelkeira
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I go to Wolverhampton Crown Court from time to time... And have sat with my mother who is a legal exec with all the the legal people before (rather than the gallery) That was pretty cool!
Dress quite smartly, so you don't look like a sore thumb... although not everyone in the public gallery does this, the ones that don't are normally with the accused! Ask at reception when you go in if there are any interesting cases on at that time... they're usually a great help!
DO NOT leave your phone on, or eat or cause any form of interuption while you are in the court, or you can be charged with being in contempt of court, and you reeeeeally don't want that!
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CharlieDurham
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(Original post by rachelkeira)
]and you reeeeeally don't want that!
Agreed.
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jackwinch
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You might want to check out what hearings are happening on the day and which court room they are in. You can do that here:
http://www.thelawpages.com/court-hea...rown-Court.php

he advice I got on my first visit was not to take notes during the trial,, but to remeber and copy them out afterwards, because you need to ask the judge permission to make notes otherwise (not a nice job ).
Actually, the judges I have talked to and requested to take notes (they included no case facts/details - merely courtroom formalities and the like) were okay.

dress?
I personally always dress in a three piece suit because I like to look smart. It also helps to draw attention to yourself in a positive manner. If you dress and look like you are keen then, if they have times, sometimes barristers or judges will invite you to talk to them once they have finished their business.

Hope some of this helped!

P.S: Always stand when the court usher tells you to. You always stand when the judge enters or leaves a room but NEVER EVER nod the judge. Only advocates nod the judge - it is used to show respect from one party to the other and also to mark the moving on/ending of proceedings.
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jelly1000
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(Original post by jackwinch)
You might want to check out what hearings are happening on the day and which court room they are in. You can do that here:
http://www.thelawpages.com/court-hea...rown-Court.php



Actually, the judges I have talked to and requested to take notes (they included no case facts/details - merely courtroom formalities and the like) were okay.



I personally always dress in a three piece suit because I like to look smart. It also helps to draw attention to yourself in a positive manner. If you dress and look like you are keen then, if they have times, sometimes barristers or judges will invite you to talk to them once they have finished their business.

Hope some of this helped!

P.S: Always stand when the court usher tells you to. You always stand when the judge enters or leaves a room but NEVER EVER nod the judge. Only advocates nod the judge - it is used to show respect from one party to the other and also to mark the moving on/ending of proceedings.
This thread is 3 years old
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jackwinch
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(Original post by jelly1000)
This thread is 3 years old
And your point is what exactly? People still read older threads and even if this doesn't help the OP now, it may help someone who reads this post in the future. If you find a book on a subject that has had no major recent developments and you open it up and see the publisher's copyright notice is 3 years old you don't just put it down for that reason, do you? It's still viable information that could give others guidance.
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The Legal Eagle
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(Original post by jelly1000)
This thread is 3 years old
(Original post by jackwinch)
And your point is what exactly? People still read older threads and even if this doesn't help the OP now, it may help someone who reads this post in the future. If you find a book on a subject that has had no major recent developments and you open it up and see the publisher's copyright notice is 3 years old you don't just put it down for that reason, do you? It's still viable information that could give others guidance.
Agree with Jack here. I'm hoping to make my virgin visit to my local Magistrates' Court tomorrow afternoon (Crown Court is too far for a couple of hours), and then see about going to the Crown Court during school half term for the week, and hopefully see a case from start to end.
Anyway, despite the obvious difference of the 2 courts, information about one is transferrable to the other, which has provided me with good and accurate information.

N.B. I've recently been looking at stuff from 2008 and 2010. Still just as good as if it was written yesterday.
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jackwinch
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Thanks Mattvr. Hope you find your visit to the courts informative, interesting and fun!
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sanjsk03
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I want to visit a court near me. Bedford Luton Milton Keynes are there any good times to visit certain cases? Is there a way of finding out what cases are happening and when? Is it ok for me to make notes during the case?
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glitter&stars
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Hi,

I am trying to go and attend court for the first time. Do they only announce the hearings on the actual day of court? I'm trying to plan a visit to my local town court, but when I select a future day - nothing is showing, is that normal? If you just turn up on the day, what time would you advise going?

Thanks in advance.
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VillageIdiot
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VillageIdiot
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(Original post by honestly)
Hi

Has anyone sat in the Public gallery within the crown court? whats it like?
the main question is how do i go about to sit in one, im 18, preparing to study law and interested in a career in law, ive been told that sitting in the public gallery will be the best place to see advocay at its best, but dont know how to go about attending? is there any formalities? dress? btw im in liverpool




peace out

honestly
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honestly
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(Original post by VillageIdiot)
Wanka
Look here folks, sensible contribution; username says it all... off you go!
bye.
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JemimaJames
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I live in Swindon and is this possible for the Court here? I am studying Law and Criminology and it says to attend a court hearing but I don't just want to turn up without knowing if I can sit in and listen.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by JemimaJames)
I live in Swindon and is this possible for the Court here? I am studying Law and Criminology and it says to attend a court hearing but I don't just want to turn up without knowing if I can sit in and listen.
Yes. Swindon is a very small Crown Court. Register with the www.courtserve.net website and get access in the evening to the following day's court listing. That avoids wasting your time going to court and for example just hearing a lot of sentences handed down for people who have pleaded guilty.
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Paigelawrence12
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Im 16 and my boyfriend is in jail and has a court hearing tommorow at maidstone crown court but i was just wondering if i will be able to go into the court room
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sanjsk03
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Hi Paige,

Most court cases are open to the public! You will have to go through security and on the screens are the names of who is being tried in which court!

You are free to enter and leave as you wish, unless the judge says otherwise or if a child is on the witness stand. Also keep your phone switched off!

hope It goes well for you.




(Original post by Paigelawrence12)
Im 16 and my boyfriend is in jail and has a court hearing tommorow at maidstone crown court but i was just wondering if i will be able to go into the court room
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DrMorris
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We nod to the crest of HRH rather than the judge per se, it just happens that the judge sits below the crest.
Even as a member of the public in a personal case, I still nod my allegiance to the Crown, to her Majesty, even though I’m not an advocate or court staff in that case.
I did my law degree twenty years ago and PhD ten years ago now, so things may have changed on why we demonstrate our respect to the ‘judge’/Royal Crest.
If anyone else knows, please do let us know?
With gratitude in advance, Mel
Last edited by DrMorris; 8 months ago
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