In the court room

Courts are quite formal places.

Criminal, family and civil courts are held in a District or High Court. You can see what a criminal courtroom might look like in our criminal court section.

If you’re a victim or a witness you can find out more on the Victims Information website(external link)

The judge

When the judge comes into or leaves the courtroom, you must stand up. In most courts you should call the judge ‘Your Honour’ or ‘Judge’.

In the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court you should call the judge ‘Your Honour’.

In the court room

In the court room, you must not:

  • eat or drink
  • wear a hat or sunglasses
  • talk while a witness is giving evidence
  • disturb the court
  • swear
  • take notes on an electronic device, record the proceedings or take pictures (taking notes with a pen and paper is permitted)
  • wear gang patches
  • use your mobile phone - turn it off so it doesn’t disturb the court.

Promise to tell the truth

If you give evidence (tell the court what happened), you have to promise to tell the truth. You can choose to make a religious promise (an oath) or a non-religious promise (an affirmation).

What happens after you’ve been in court

If you’ve come out of the courtroom and you’re not sure what the next step is, ask court staff - they’re there to help. Staff will be wearing name badges.