Going to Court can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. Below are some tips outlining Court etiquette and procedures.
- Ensure you are well dressed and presented as a mark of respect.
- Always arrive at least five minutes early (unless you are otherwise advised).
- Sunglasses or hats are not to be worn in the courtroom.
- Do not take food or drink into the courtroom.
- Turn your mobile phone off (and not just on silent as it can affect the microphones) or it may be confiscated.
- When the court is ready to begin, a member of the court staff will open a door behind the bench to allow the judge or magistrate to enter the courtroom. The member of the court staff will then call “silence, all stand” and everyone in the courtroom then stands. Once the judge or magistrate has walked in, everyone must bow towards the bench.
- In the event that you are required to speak to the judge or magistrate, please refer to the them as “Your Honour”.
- When entering the court, face the bench and bow towards the judge or magistrate. The same applies when you are leaving the court.
- If you arrive when court is already sitting, quietly open the door, bow towards the bench and take a seat in the public gallery, located at the back of the court, or where you are advised to sit.
If you would like more information please contact us.
A good character reference is an important part of a client’s case and will help a lawyer to persuade the Court to extend as much leniency as possible to the individual on trial.
The functions of an effective character reference are:
- To show the Court that, despite having committed an offence the individual on trial is a person of generally good character.
- Personalise the individual to the Court – so that they become more than just a number in a busy Court list.
- Where possible, provide context around the circumstances which may have lead up to an individual coming the offence(s).
- Show the Court that the individual is remorseful for having committed the offences and the impact that his (her) behaviour has had on the victim.
Download our Guide to Writing an Effective Reference Template as a basis to create a character reference.
If you have any questions about writing a reference, please feel free to contact Michal Mantaj on (02) 4324 5688 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org