THE GUIDELINES – BEST PRACTICE
Before the court hearing
Each court office has a Customer Service Officer who can provide information and general advice. A list of each court venue and their contact details is set out below. Alternatively you can visit our website at www.courtsni.gov.uk
Coming to court can be a stressful experience for anyone and especially for children. It may be appropriate to arrange for any child participating in a court hearing (including the defendant) to visit the courtroom before the hearing so they are familiar with the layout of the courthouse, courtroom and facilities. Pre-court visits can be arranged by contacting the Customer Service Officer in the venue where the court will be sitting.
AT THE YOUTH COURT
Entrances and Waiting Areas
Youth courts usually take place on days when other courts are not in operation or are taking place in other parts of the courthouse. However, when other courts are sitting, Court Administrators should, where possible, make sure that those attending the youth court do not come into contact with people attending other courts and that children are not exposed to intimidation, offensive language or abuse. Some courthouses can provide a separate waiting area or room. Where possible, a separate waiting room or play area will also be provided for other children who are with the parents of the child attending the youth court. Court Administrators should also ensure special arrangements are made to meet the needs of vulnerable victims or intimidated witnesses that they have been made aware of.