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> The hearing
We will try to contact you to discuss when you are able to appear as a witness. We will then send you details of when and where the hearing will take place. Very occasionally a witness may refuse to come to a hearing. The panel have the power to order that witness to give evidence. It is a criminal offence to ignore this order.
Travel to Park House or another venue
We will organise your travel and accommodation for you. You will need to fill in a travel and accommodation request form:
Travel and accommodation booking form
Hearings are held at Park House in London (our office in Kennington) as well as other venues in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Details of how to get to Park House can be found here .
You can bring a friend or family member with you to the hearing to give you support. However, please remember that we will not usually pay their expenses.
If you have a disability, or any other needs, please discuss this with us and we will make any arrangements needed.
Going to the hearing
You should arrive in good time for the hearing and give your name and the name of the case you are involved in to reception. There may be more than one hearing taking place on that day.
The hearings officer (who makes sure the hearing runs smoothly) will meet and welcome you and explain the venue’s facilities. They will take you to a waiting room for witnesses only. We will provide refreshments. It would help if you could bring a copy of your statement with you for your reference. You may also want to bring a book or some other quiet activity to keep you busy, as you may have to wait before you give evidence.
The presenting officer (who presents the case to the panel on our behalf) will talk to you before the hearing starts and answer any questions you may have. If possible, they will show you the room where the hearing is being held, so you are familiar with it. You may have some time to wait before you can give evidence. We try, wherever possible, to keep delays to a minimum, but sometimes we cannot avoid this.
Hearings are usually held in public. This means that members of the public (including the press) are able to attend. Information heard in public may result in reports in newspapers, on the internet and sometimes on television.
Sometimes hearings are held in private due to the confidential information involved. Even if the panel holds a hearing in private, any decisions the panel makes and the reasons for them still need to be given in public.
You can find out who attends the hearing at the link below:
Travel and accommodation booking formMicrosoft Word Document66kb