Court Observation Report.
Kingston Crown Court.
Crown Court (Criminal).
6-8 Penryhn Road, Kingston upon Thames.
29th October 2007.
The Crown Courts jurisdiction is of indictable' offences, so the most serious criminal offences are dealt by the Crown Court, offences are triable either way and it deals with appeals from the Magistrates Court as the defendant has an automatic right of appeal. There are around 90 Crown Courts in England and Wales and is divided into three tiers which contain High Court Judges, Circuit Judges, Recorders and Magistrates. In terms of hierarchy the Crown Court lies below the European Court of Justice, House of Lords and the Court of Appeal, the only court it is above is the Magistrates Court. The court building itself is fairly modern having just opened in April of 1997, therefore it has suitable access for the disabled including toilets and waiting rooms. There was access to speak to someone regarding inquiries on the ground floor, signposts to direct people, a plentiful supply of leaflet handout points dotted around the building and a canteen located on the third floor providing various refreshments. The courtroom has a clear layout making it easy to pick out who is who in the courtroom, it's a spacious size and voices could be heard all round the room due to the good acoustics. One thing to point out is the armed guards inside and outside the building, this was probably due to the terrorism trial going on at the time. It was relatively easy to find the location of my desired courtroom to view the case, when there the visiting section to view the courtroom was reasonably comfortable though the only bad point to make is that I couldn't quite see the whole of the courtroom in the position I was sitting which made it confusing when the judge was addressing the defendants as I couldn't see who he was talking to but other than that everyone else involved with the case was in view. Before I chose which courtroom to view I had a...
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