Crown Observation log & report custom essay

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You may visit any Crown Court , although spaces in the public galleries are limited so you must be prepared to be flexible about where you are going. Addresses of crown courts and contact details are available at: http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/HMCSCourtFinder/ Please do not be tempted to plagiarise a Report, we are aware of a number of sites that are selling or releasing previous reports. These will all be detected through Turnitin. Full guidelines on writing up your log and report will provided on Studyspace.

THE OBSERVATION
• when you arrive at the court, look at the court lists. These are typed sheets giving details of what is going on in each court. At Kingston, they are found on Level 2 (the same floor as the court rooms);

• it is essential to select a court which is in the midst of a trial. You will see that written as ‘trial (part heard)’ on the listing sheet. This will enable you to spend time getting used to the formal court procedure, rather than watch a series of committals. A jury will already have been sworn in. Avoid just going in to see sentencing, because you will not see a full court sitting;

• the courts at Kingston begin proceedings at 10.30. The building is open before then, so allow time to select a court and settle in. It is best to sit in the court for at least ten minutes before proceedings begin, partly so that you can then approach the Usher (see below).
If the Usher gives you permission, that is fine. If not, you will have to memorise details and leave the court at intervals in order to write down your notes. You should always face the judge and nod your head when you leave the court and when you return.

What should you be looking out for?
•if you are there for the beginning of the session, what happens?;
•the layout of the court and who sits where;
•is it easy to see everything? e.g. the defendant, when he/she is not in the witness box;
•the different participants – judge, defendant(s), witnesses, barristers, solicitors, court usher, interpreter (if required), person supervising the recording equipment, the court clerk (who might not stay for the whole time), security escort (sitting close to the defendant);
•which barristers are prosecuting and which are defending;
•the gender / ethnic breakdown of all the participants;
•the possible age of the participants (e.g. how many young people in the jury?);
•does the judge intervene with questions of his/her own? If so, why might that be? And do they do it in a reasonable way?;
•the ‘bundles’ containing the evidence. Think about how long it might take to put them together;
•anything else that strikes you!

How you will write this up.
•give a general description of what you observed, beginning with the date of the observation and where it took place;
•this preliminary write-up is not an academic piece (but your final assignment is!). At this stage, you are not expected to refer to academic texts. However, this exercise is to make you start thinking about how the criminal justice system works, so you should write about aspects of the court which caught your attention. e.g. whether the jury was diverse – and is this important?; how were the witnesses treated by the barristers? In short, anything that strikes you as being important;
•try to be concise – mention specific points briefly and do not simply focus on one aspect of the court.

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