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Equal Treatment Bench Book: latest edition


Fully revised and updated version of the practical guide now published online

In February 2018, the Equal Treatment Bench Book was updated, expanded and improved. It has been revised in March 2020. All judges and magistrates will find it helpful to make themselves aware of the contents of this new edition.

The Equal Treatment Bench Book has issued guidance on the conduct of remote hearings. As in the ETBB itself, the term ‘judge’ includes all judicial office holders.

The Equal Treatment Bench Book aims to increase awareness and understanding of the different circumstances of people appearing in courts and tribunals.  It helps enable effective communication and suggests steps which should increase participation by all parties.

This latest edition of the Equal Treatment Bench Book cites recent evidence regarding the experiences of different communities living in Britain today. It is full of practical guidance aimed at helping make the court experience more accessible for parties and witnesses who might be uncertain, fearful or feel unable to participate. It includes new and expanded sections on litigants in person, refugees, modern slavery, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

There are practical tips on communicating with those speaking English as a second language or through interpreters, communicating with people with mental disabilities, a guide to different naming systems, and latest views on acceptable terminology.

  • A Word version of the Equal Treatment Bench Book is available for those who find the PDF is incompatible with their screen reader. To request a copy, please email stating the type of screen reader you use.