Key Personnel

 

When you come back into court again, the trial will begin. The cases that might be tried include murder, fraud, rape, theft, assault or other types of crime.

 

Now we will introduce you to the other people involved in the trial. 

 

A County Court Judge wears black and purple robes with a red sash and is called 'Your Honour'.

 

The Defendant 

The defendant or defendants sit in the dock accompanied by prison officers. They remain silent unless they choose to give evidence.

 

The Court Clerk 

The Court Clerk sits in front of the Judge and co-ordinates the trial. The Court Clerk reads the charges against the defendant, swears in the jury, takes the verdict, and performs administrative tasks associated with the trial.

 

Stenographers/Shorthand Writers 

All trials are recorded in some way. Sometimes a stenographer or shorthand writer sits beside the Court Clerk and records everything that is said in court. This record may be used if the case is appealed.

 

Barristers 

Also known as counsel, barristers wear black robes and wigs. Counsel for the prosecution presents the case evidence to the court. Counsel for the defence challenges the prosecution's evidence and presents the case for the defendant.

 

Solicitors

Solicitors sit close to counsel. They will have instructed and briefed counsel

before the case has come to court. They consult with counsel throughout the trial.

 

Witnesses 

There are many types of witnesses that can be called during a case. Witnesses include forensic scientists, police officers, medical experts, eyewitnesses and others. Some evidence is very detailed and specialised. Please listen carefully to all the evidence and pay attention to any exhibits, as this will be the basis on which you must decide your verdict.

 

Some courts use technology to present evidence on screens using computers and video equipment. Some solicitors and barristers also use computers in court to assist them in presenting their case.