In addition to the observational methods, informal interviews and discussions were held with a sample of defendants and their relatives and friends, police officers, during recess or after a trial. According to M. Spector and J. Kitsuse, claims-making 'is always a form of interaction: a demand made by one party to another that something be done about sane putative condition'. In applying this conception to the court process, claims-making takes the form of demands and assertions made in an interaction setting whereby what is or is not a drug offence is described and defined - a defendant is perceived as either guilty or innocent. Apart from cases where the defendants pleaded guilty and were dealt with there and then by the magistrate, the court was concerned with preparatory procedures to commit cases to the Crown Court. However, the interaction that took place between legal actors was revealing of the stages of social construction and the processes involved.