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Criminal Courts and the Principles of the English Legal System
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Visit a Court

If you have completed this package then you will now know quite a lot about the workings of the English Court system but there is no substitute for seeing the real thing.

The Public including students (over 14yrs of age) are welcome to visit the Magistrates' and Crown Court and watch proceedings take place, providing that they do not cause any disturbance. You will not be allowed into any courts that are dealing with young persons or some family matters.

Contact your local court in advance to check which days they are sitting to hear criminal cases and when you arrive explain to the Usher why you are there. There should be a list posted up in the waiting area giving details of cases being heard, so choose something that looks interesting, and don't be afraid to move quietly between the courts to get a better idea of what happens.

Feel free to take notes about the procedures you see, but once again, it might be advisable to tell the usher for the court in advance. The more detail you get the more you will have to assist you in assignments. You could check at reception to see if there is a Magistrate, Clerk or Usher who could spare a few minutes to explain some details of the proceedings to you. Bear in mind they are busy people so don't be upset if they cannot spare you the time.

If you don't feel confident enough to visit the court on your own, go with a friend or try to persuade your tutor to arrange a visit. Do make the effort you will not regret it!

©Coleg Llandrillo Cymru 2004. Contact: www.llandrillo.ac.uk (new window)