New guide for the public attending Court hearings

The Ministry of Justice has recently published a new online ‘how to’ guide for attending Courts and Tribunals, which is said to be the first easy-to-use guide to assist people accessing Court/Tribunal hearings.

This guide, which is available to view at, joins a number of other online resources produced by the Ministry of Justice and HMCTS with the goal of supporting open justice by enhancing access to justice. However this guide differs in that it is intended to pull together information already available across into one easy-to-read document for members of the public.

It is acknowledged by the Ministry of Justice that the complexity of the Justice system may make it challenging to understand what happens at Court hearings, especially without the benefit of legal representation. The guide is therefore intended to allow members of the public and litigants-in-person to know what to expect at Court, as well as to understand their rights and responsibilities when attending hearings.

Information is included on the different types of Courts and Tribunals, what to do before a hearing, and what to expect once inside the Court.

For example, the guide suggests that before a hearing it may be worthwhile to use the ‘Find a Court and Tribunal service’ to find out the address and contact details for the Court, and that if you are a party or witness in a hearing you should let a member of Court staff know when you arrive at Court.

Links are also provided to other useful resources, such as the Government’s guidance on what to expect when joining a remote hearing, which can be found at

While this guide is of course no substitute for having the benefit of legal representation, it should prove useful for members of the public and litigants in person in demystifying the process of attending Court hearings.

Cookie Policy
This site uses cookies to improve the overall user experience. Cookie Policy