Witness availability for High Court

Witness Availability Letter - High Court

As a witness you will get a letter from COPFS in the post, asking you when you are able to come to court over the next 18 months. This is because you may be called to give evidence in court.

It is not always possible to set dates that suit all witnesses, but we tell the Court which dates are less convenient and the Court will try to find a suitable date(s).

Our letter will also provide you with the date of the preliminary hearing if the trial is going to take place in the High Court.

What to do when you get your letter

Our letter asks you to complete and return a form to us. The letter will tell you what date this needs to be completed by.

Fill in the form to:

  • confirm your personal details
  • tell us any dates that are less convenient for coming to court and why
  • provide confirmation of any holidays or medical appointments you already have booked

If you would prefer to contact the Witness Assistance Team directly, this can be done using the details provided below.

If you don’t get a letter

Some witnesses will not receive a letter. This may be because you have been referred to the COPFS Victim Information and Advice service (VIA) or you may not be required to attend court.

In the case of some vulnerable witnesses, it may be safer for you if we don't send documents through the post.

If this is the case, we will contact you some other way such as by phone. You can also get in touch with us through your existing VIA contact point or using our Witness Assistance Team (see below).

If we don’t hear from you

We may contact you directly or instruct the police to get in touch to obtain availability for court.

Witness Assistance Team

Please contact our Witness Assistance Team as soon as possible if you:

  • have difficulty telling us when you will be available for court
  • will struggle to attend court at short notice
  • have had a change to your availability
  • have any other relevant information

Call: 0300 020 6082

Monday to Thursday: 8.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4.30pm

Friday: 8.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4.00pm

Email: WitnessAssistanceTeamHighCourt@copfs.gov.uk

Relay UK

If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired you can contact us by phone using Relay UK.  

Visit the Relay UK website to download the app. 

Rates for mobile phones may vary by provider.