What are cookies? 

A cookie is a piece of data stored on your computer, mobile phone or tablet when you visit a website. It's stored within your website browser, and then subsequently sent back to the same website by your browser. The cookie helps the website to recognise your specific browser and computer when you return. 

Cookies on are divided into first-party cookies and third-party cookies.

First-party cookies, such as the Google Analytics cookie or the cookie, only ever send information back to the original provider.

Third-party cookies, such as AddThis, use information from other sites, including Twitter and Facebook, to deliver a more personalised experience. For example, if you share on Facebook a lot then you'll see Facebook as an option to share a page on the website.

How government websites use cookies 

Video by Government Digital Service

More from DirectGov about how government websites use cookies

Cookies on 

We use first-party cookies to capture anonymous website usage in Google Analytics giving us data that includes the pages that you visit and the documents that you download, how long you spend on pages and how you found our site. By interpreting this data we can anticipate website traffic usage and improve your website experience in terms of being able to find and use the information on the site.

We use third-party cookies to enable you to use social media functions such as sharing pages on Twitter or Facebook or watching YouTube videos on the website. This also provides us with anonymous data that we can analyse to find how our information is shared outside of the website.

Cookie Usage
1st party cookies      

Squiz Matrix

The site uses the Squiz Matrix content management system (CMS). This cookie allows the site to identify a unique user visit. It do not contain any human readable personal data and are used for website functionality.

If you opt out, your experience of the site will not change.

More information on Squiz Matrix privacy policy

This cookie identifies which of the ‘You be the judge’ cases a visitor has completed.
If you opt out, your experience of the site will not change.

These cookies detect whether or not you choose to hide the alert messages on the and sites.

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics to gain insight into how visitors interact with the site. We use this data to improve and enhance user experience and roll out future changes with new and returning visitors in mind. The information generated by the cookie about your use of our website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States.

If you opt out your experience of the site will not change. However, we will be unable to anonymously analyse your use of the website and make appropriate improvements.

More information on Google Analytics and cookies

Opt out of Google Analytics 

3rd party cookies

YouTube is a video-sharing website that allows you to view videos on the site. The cookie is used to allow you to “share” a YouTube video via other social networking sites.

If you opt out you will not be able to view or play YouTube videos on the website.

More information on YouTube cookies


AddThis allows you to share content on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. 

If you opt out you will not be able to share pages.

More information on AddThis cookies 

Opt out of AddThis data collection 


The JW Player, which we use for video content produced by the Ministry if Justice, may create a flash cookie (also known as an LSO or Local Shared Object) to save your viewing preferences, for example preferred volume.

To learn how to manage or disable Flash cookies, visit


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