Ever since turning 18, I’ve hoped for the day a letter would fall through my door telling me I’d been selected for jury service. Sadly it’s 13 years on and I’m still waiting. However, I discovered the next best thing, you can actually go to The Old Bailey to watch live court cases whenever you like.
The public galleries are open for a morning and afternoon session, so you can easily make a whole day of it, with a break for lunch. There are lots of court rooms to choose from and you can move between them during the day, however you don’t want to cause any disruption, so it’s best to wait for a gap in proceedings to move about.
Obviously a single day isn’t long enough to see a case from beginning to end, but by switching between court rooms, you’re likely to get the opportunity to see opening statements, evidence being given and summing up by the defence/prosecution.
As you’d expect, there are a few rules when it comes to dress code, age restrictions etc, all of which are detailed in the link below. A word of warning, no large bags are allowed into the court and there aren’t any storage facilities, so make sure you only bring your necessities with you.
The Old Bailey
Address: Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, London EC4M 7EH
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.55am – 12.40pm and 1.55 – 3.40pm