Court Etiquette

Most people may have no experience of what it actually feels like to attend court. You could be asked to attend court for a number of reasons. 

Personal conduct in court is important and there are some specific requests and requirements of you when attending court.

Dress

Make sure you dress in clean, neat attire with appropriate footwear.  Dress as if you are meeting someone important whose opinion of you matters.  Avoid wearing shorts, tracksuits, sunglasses or a hat in court.

Be prepared

Ensure you bring all the relevant paperwork.

Be punctual

Court hearings have specific scheduled start times.  It is important that you arrive at court no later than 15 minutes before the hearing time.  This should give you sufficient time to pass through the court’s security screening, find the courtroom where your matter is being heard, and to advise court staff that you have arrived.

Be patient

Although your case may be listed for a specified time there may be incidences where there are delays.  For example, the court lists may show a number of matters to be heard starting at the same time.  The time specified for a matter to be heard can therefore be the same as the time of other matters. The start time indicated to you for your hearing is the time the court commences hearing the cases listed for that time. You may be in a queue. Please be patient.

You may need to consider if you have requested sufficient time off work or made appropriate childcare arrangements.

Bring a friend

You are welcome to bring someone to court with you who may offer the following support:

• keep you company while you wait, and

• drive you home (in cases of loss of a driver’s licence).

Finding your courtroom

The court building entry foyer has television monitors that list the matters before the court on that day. These monitors also provide information relating to which
courtroom each matter is being heard in. 

Once you have found out which court your matter is in you should proceed to that courtroom and advise the court clerk that you have arrived.  If you cannot see your name on the monitor, you should speak to a court officer at the enquiries counter

In the courtroom

Appropriate behaviour in the courtroom assists a smooth flow of proceedings. Avoid unnecessary talking or whispering and ensure that your mobile phone has been turned off. If you are asked to address the court, speak clearly or ask for assistance.

When addressing the Magistrate, please call him or her, “Your Honour”.

Smoking, eating or chewing gum is not permitted in the court building.