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Going to a criminal court – support for defendants

New Ministry of Justice guide

14 October 2019
Going to a criminal court – support for defendants

how-to guide designed to make the criminal court process more accessible and understandable for all has been produced by the Ministry of Justice.

The four-part guide is designed to be understood by all defendants, including those with low literacy levels, and are available online and in courts. The guide aims to unpick complicated legal language; flag available legal advice; explain crown and magistrates’ court processes; and give advice on practicalities such as childcare.

The four parts are:


These new guides have been developed because lay users often go to court without a sufficient understanding of what to expect from the process, which can cause delays and restrict access to justice. It is therefore hoped that this work will also make the courts more efficient for victims and witnesses.

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