Judicial Institute - Publications

Jury Manual 2017

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Equal Treatment Bench Book

The aim of the Equal Treatment Bench Book is to offer assistance and advice to judges who have to ensure that all who come before the courts are dealt with in an understanding and sensitive fashion regardless of their personal backgrounds. It includes advice on issues arising on sexual orientation and gender identity as these are areas which are capable of misunderstanding and misconception.  It is therefore desirable that judges should have as clear an understanding of this topic as is possible.

Apart from all of the foregoing there are other circumstances, regardless of questions of ethnicity or sexual orientation and gender identity, in which some of those who come before the courts may be at a disadvantage when compared with other court users. They may have a physical or mental disability; they may be children; they may have been the victims of, or have been associated with, domestic abuse; they may be witnesses who, for whatever reason, are apprehensive about the prospect of appearing in court; or they may have to, or may choose to, conduct court proceedings in person without the benefit of legal representation. All require to be dealt with in a sensitive and understanding manner.