New victim and witness facilities at court

Partner Hannah Jones comments on changes in court building facilities so victims and witnesses will have their experience of going to court made easier through a number of new waiting rooms.


The experience of victims and witnesses in many courts has traditionally been that they are asked to wait in sparse, unfriendly surroundings; often little more than corridors. This has made the whole experience more intimidating and less conducive to the legal process than it could be. HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has therefore invested £80,000 in victim and witness waiting rooms in five courts across the country – making a number of changes including the addition of children’s toys.


Research conducted with court users has shown that small changes such as these can make the court experience less intimidating for some of the 156,000 victims and witnesses who give evidence each year - particularly children and the vulnerable.


The model victim and witness waiting rooms have been established at Nottingham Justice Centre, Manchester Magistrates’ Court, Newcastle Crown Court and Aldershot Justice Centre, with work ongoing at Liverpool Crown Court. They will provide a template for courts nationwide.


HMCTS worked closely with stakeholders including the Victim’s Commissioner, the Witness Service and court users to identify areas across the estate to develop and analyse the best way to support victims and witnesses through the court process. This work informed how the rooms were developed, and they will now be used as models for further estate changes.


Hannah, comments “We welcome the HMCTS’ initiative. The court process can be a traumatic experience for victims and any attempt to make this environment less impersonal and more comfortable is definitely a positive step”.

If you would like to know more or need help with criminal defence, call Hannah on 023 9282 0747 for further information.

Changes as courts reopen

More face-to-face hearings as courts reopen

July 20

More Info

Can I take my child on a summer holiday if I am divorced or separated?

Newly-divorced and separated parents are advised to take extra care when taking their children abroad on summer holidays

July 20

More Info

Quicker route for separated parents to apply to see their children

Online form makes it easier for separated parents to see their children.

May 2020

More Info

Enhanced Domestic Abuse Bill introduced to Parliament

 The government has set out an enhanced version of the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill to Parliament.

April 2020

More Info

Reviews

We’re proud to be associated with

  • The Law Society, Conveyancing Quality Accredited logo
  • The Law Society, Children Law Accredited logo
  • The Law Society, Criminal Litigation Accredited logo
  • The Law Society, Family Law Accredited logo
  • The Law Society, Family Law Advanced Accredited logo
  • The Law Society, Lexcel Accredited logo
  • Solicitors For The Elderly Accredited logo
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners logo
  • Dementia Friends logo
  • Resolution logo