Lay Observers are independent, unpaid public appointees and work an average of 2-3 days per month. Their role is to provide independent oversight of how people detained in court cells and cellular vehicles are cared for and their access to justice.

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About us

Lay Observers play an important role in the justice system by monitoring the welfare and access to justice of people being brought to court and held in court custody. They are appointed by the Secretary of State under the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (CJA 1991) to provide independent oversight of how people detained in court cells and cellular vehicles are cared for and their access to justice.

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Latest news

  • Fragmented approach to duty of care for detained persons highlighted by Lay Observers in Annual Report

    In his second annual report to the Secretary of State for Justice, the Chairman of Lay Observers for England and Wales details failings in the care of people held in custody at courts and transported between police stations, prisons and courts by escort contractors.   In his annual report for 2016-17, Tony FitzSimons highlighted the … Read more >

  • Lay Observers at MoJ Public Appointments event, encouraging diversity

    The Public Appointment’s team’s ‘Engage, Encourage and Excite’ event took place this week in London, forming part of a wider strategy to increase the diversity of candidates to MoJ public appointee roles. Representing Lay Observers at this event were Moawia Bin-Sufyan (Lay Observer and also member at IMB Parc) and Rachel Stuart, Head of the Secretariat. Both spoke … Read more >

  • Lay Observer Autumn 2017 recruitment campaign now open

    Our Autumn 2017 recruitment campaign is now live. We are recruiting across England in the following areas: South West (Devon, Somerset & Avon) Oxfordshire South East (Sussex) London Essex/Hertfordshire Durham East Midlands (Derbyshire and Lincolnshire) North West (Manchester, Liverpool and Chester areas) West Midlands (Worcestershire) Applications will close at midnight, November 5th. To find out more and … Read more >

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