4.5 Courtroom courtesy

When in court, there are basic courtesies to observe that will help ensure the court process is not interrupted or distracted. These courtesies apply to journalists, camera operators, sound technicians and photographers.

  • Please attend court suitably and professionally dressed.
  • Where possible, sit in the area provided for the media.
  • Do not eat or drink in the courtroom.
  • Stand when a judge enters or leaves the court.
  • Enter or leave a courtroom quietly while a trial is in progress.
  • Leaving during a summing-up is not advised.
  • Remain as quiet as possible in the courtroom.

Sometimes a judge might order that no one enter or leave the courtroom, to ensure quiet and focus. This might happen during the testimony of a particular witness or during an address by counsel or when the judge is giving their decision.

If the judge addresses you during the court proceedings and you need to respond, you should stand and address the judge as 'Your Honour'. When addressing a community magistrate or justice of the peace, use Mr/Mrs/Ms as appropriate.

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