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Crown Court Cases

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dylankirby | 20:50 Sun 22nd Apr 2012 | Law
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Just a quick question, can any member of the public sit in on a court case just to watch, ie if I turn up at my local crown court tomorrow could I just go in to any court and watch the case?

Thanks

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Yes, you can go sit in the public gallery.
Be prepared to sit with old dears who make a career out of it and usually have fish paste sarnies with them.
Question Author
Hi,

Thanks, its just I heard about a case sitting for trial tomorrow that really intrigues me and do not want a wasted journey
Yes. It's a public court. The only restriction on entry is that the public won't be allowed in when the judge is hearing applications which must be held in'private . That, and not enough empty seats in the 'public gallery'; at the Old Bailey there are always queues for the galleries.
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Heading to Southwark Crown Court
Ah, a very pleasant spot. Take in the river, while you're there!
As said already, courts are public places (justice being seen to be done). You cannot take photographs or record anything that happens and remember to leave your mobile phone at home or be sure you know how to switch it off.
Further to Howard's answer: You can't record by writing down what is said, either. (I never understood that rule).
<<,You can't record by writing down what is said, either. >>

Is that so? Surely there is not one rule for the press and another for others. When I was a law student I often sat in the magistrates' court and took notes. No one objected.
Mike, I'd the same as a student when visiting the Old Bailey. A court official was most concerned that I might be writing down the evidence, which was forbidden. I showed him that my notes were all about legal procedure and court room practice, not evidence, and he let me continue.

The only good reason I can think of is that people might record verbatim what witnesses in court said, for the purpose of informing witnesses waiting outside , so those witnesses could alter their story to fit .

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