Schedule 5 - Courtroom etiquette

Media representatives must not interrupt or disrupt the court process, or distract participants, and must treat that process with the same courtesy and respect as other participants. This requirement applies to all members of the media including journalists, camera operators, sound technicians and photographers. In particular, media representatives should note the following guidelines:

  • Please attend court suitably and professionally dressed (minimum of smart casual).
  • 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.
  • If members of the media wish to enter or leave a courtroom while a trial is in progress, they should do so quietly and not disrupt the Court. If they cannot leave without causing a disturbance they should not leave until there is an adjournment. Do not leave during closings or a summing-up in a criminal jury trial.
  • Remain as quiet as possible in the courtroom. Ensure that digital devices are silent.
  • Do not speak into devices.

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 a decision.

If the Judge addresses a member of the media during the court proceedings and a response is required, the Judge should be addressed as “Your Honour”.

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