Being a witness or victim of crime can be a challenging experience. The Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) recognises the importance of supporting victims and witnesses throughout the court process. The Witness Assistance Service can give you information and support during the court process.
If you are required to come to court and give evidence as a witness, it means that you will have made a statement to the police.
You may be sent a court order, which is called a summons (in the Magistrates’ Court) or a subpoena (in the County and Supreme Courts). The summons or subpoena tells you when and where the matter is going to be held. If you receive a summons or subpoena, you must attend court.
There may be more than one hearing and if you are a witness you may need to go to court more than once. It is also possible that a hearing may be delayed (adjourned) to another day. This can happen for a range of reasons. The informant, OPP solicitor or WAS worker will tell you when you will be needed at court. They will do their best to let you know if a hearing has been adjourned, although sometimes adjournments can happen at short notice.
The Now You Are a Witness- English brochure will help you to understand what is involved when you are required to give evidence in court and how you can prepare for that process.
This brochure is also available in multiple languages:
Requesting Reasons For Decisions
People with a legitimate interest in a matter in which the DPP has made a discretionary prosecutorial decision - such as withdrawing a prosecution - may request reasons for the decision.
A Director’s policy details the criteria taken into account to determine whether it is appropriate for the DPP to provide reasons, and the limitations on the information that can be provided. The policy can be viewed here.
Requests to the DPP can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to:
Director of Public Prosecutions
PO Box 13085