If you or a family member have to go to court, effective preparation and representation are key for those in the neurodivergent community.  Court buildings and court rooms can be confusing.  It will likely be an unfamiliar environment, often with poor signposting, inappropriate lighting, sometimes busy, sometimes deserted.  Much of the court estate is old and crumbling.  Court staff will do their unfailing best to be helpful, but resources are scant and training in the issues arising often minimal.

 The Court hearing itself is more easily adapted to the needs of the neurodivergent defendant or witness, as long as good quality information is available to the right people, and adaptations and reasonable adjustments can sometimes be quite modest but effective. For example, the defendant may be able to sit out of the dock, be excused from being in the courtroom, be provided with private waiting space, for lawyers and judges to use different language, first names or different court dress.

 Pre-Court visits can be used effectively in some cases.  Using technology is increasingly an option, for example having an appearance via video link rather than in person in an appropriate case.  What works in one case may be completely inappropriate in another, but through sufficient care, expertise and planning the process and experience of going to court can be significantly improved.

The law and practice referred to in this article or webinar has been paraphrased or summarised. It might not be up-to-date with changes in the law and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice in relation to a specific set of circumstances.