• We have capacity limits for virtual hearings as well as those in our hearing centres. An application to observe a hearing does not guarantee attendance.

  • Places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, but preference will be given to people with a connection to the case.

  • Applications to observe a hearing must be received at least two working days before the hearing is due to start.

  • You must not audio record, film, live screen, photograph, or screenshot any part of the hearing.

  • If observing a virtual hearing, you must mute your telephone throughout the hearing. If observing a physical hearing, you must turn your phone off when the hearing is in session.

  • You must not attempt to communicate with the hearing parties by any means while the hearing is taking place, including in any breaks.

  • Certain hearings take place completely or partially in private. If a hearing you attend goes into private, you will be asked to leave until such a time when it resumes in public session. If you do not leave when asked, you will be excluded from the hearing.

  • For virtual hearings, you must not share the GoToMeeting access details to the hearing with anyone.

  • For virtual hearings, you must ensure that there is no one else with you observing the hearing unless they have notified us and agreed to comply with this protocol.

  • For hearings in our hearing centres, you must not attend if you have any one of the three key symptoms of Covid-19:
    • a high temperature
    • a persistent cough
    • a change in your sense of taste or smell.

  • We may, as a reasonable adjustment, allow video access to our hearings from an observer’s own private setting. In order to decide whether to allow this, we may ask you why you can’t attend a hearings centre and why audio access would cause you difficulties. If we decide to grant video access from a private setting, you’ll need to give us your contact details and social media identities.

  • If you’re attending one of our hearing centres, we’ll ask you for your contact details. We’ll keep these for 21 days to comply with NHS Test and Trace where required. If you develop symptoms of Covid-19 within 14 days of attending a hearing, please contact us and let us know by calling our hearing venue on 020 7681 5600 or by emailing us.

A failure to follow these rules may lead to you being excluded from the hearing or to not be granted access to a hearing.

Please email Observer.Bookings@nmc-uk.org if you have any queries.