Members of the public are at liberty to observe in both Magistrates' and Crown Courts but I would have to agree when a lot of people tell me it seems like double-dutch to the "uninitiated". Not my choice of word but one frequently used.
I am of the view that the more people know about the Court processes, the better they will understand what might otherwise be baffling.
OK, here's the deal. I frequently host observers in Wolverhampton Magistrates' Court and I'm happy to do so for anybody on the Community forum. I imagine it probably sounds completely boring and of no interest but if anybody might like to consider it there are two ways in which it can be accomplished, either by observing my Court and asking questions when I'm available, in which case you get to see yours truly in action (an unedifying thought, I know :lol) but at least you'd be satisfied that I really do sit up there
Or, the other way is that I take you around the Court, observing as many different Courts as possible, where I can answer your questions and explain things in real-time as it were.
Either way, you'd start off at my house (cos it costs a fortune if you've got to find parking in the city ), we would get into Court early and I would then show you around a Court room, explaining who goes where and does what, with the possibility of meeting and talking to Probation officers, visiting the cells, talking to other Magistrates or a tame District Judge, prosecutors and defence advocates.
Then you would either observe my Court or I would host you around the various Courts, depending upon what we had agreed beforehand. The advantage being that you get to ask your questions as and when they arise.
Clearly, if I was sitting, my first responsibility must always be to the Court so we would have to stay until my presence was no longer required.
You would not be allowed into Youth or Family Courts as they are closed but I'd have to say that adult criminal is probably the most interesting anyway.
There would be no guarantees. One never knows what the day is going to turn up, or who is going available to chat to you.
It does tend to get a bit lively if there is a defendant accused of murder in but clearly, those are a rare occurrence but seeing how motoring offences are dealt with might be interesting as well.
There you go. Welcome to my world... if you're interested