Whilst ostensibly for Judges and Magistrates, the Equal Treatment Bench Book (ETBB) is a valuable resource for all practitioners. It has been updated, expanded and revised as of March 2020 and is now available online.
The ETBB has also issued guidance on the conduct of remote hearings.
The ETBB aims to increase awareness and understanding of the different circumstances of people appearing in courts and tribunals. It sets out to facilitate effective communication and there are suggested steps which should be taken to increase participation by all parties. The ICCA has stressed the importance of the effective participation of parties in all types of cases and especially for those parties who are vulnerable or young.
The new ETBB It includes new and expanded sections on litigants in person, refugees, modern slavery, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. In addition, there is help for communicating with those who speak English as a second language, the use of interpreters and communicating with people who have a mental disability. There are helpful guides as to naming systems and suggestions for more acceptable terminology.