HC Deb 08 June 1995 vol 261 cc271-2W
Mrs. Roche

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how he communicates to the families of victims their right to be seated in the well of the court rather than in the public gallery. [27276]

Mr. John M. Taylor

The question concerns a specific operational matter on which the chief executive of the Court Service is best placed to provide an answer and I have accordingly asked the chief executive to reply direct.

Letter from M. D. Huebner to Mrs. Barbara Roche, dated 8 June 1995: The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, has asked me to reply to your Question about the right of families of victims to be seated in the well of the court. I should first explain that the Prosecution is responsible for contacting victims of crime and their families. There is no "right" for anyone other than those actively taking part in the hearing to be seated in the well of the court. However, if the judge considers it appropriate, a relative of a victim may be allowed to sit in the well of the court. In addition, court staff may be able to make arrangements to seat the relatives of victims away from the other side in the case.