If you’re a lawyer
This section also contains useful guidance if you are representing yourself
Delays and adjournments
You must tell the court clerk (by phone, fax or email):
- about any major changes to your case, especially if a hearing needs to be adjourned
- if you will be late for court.
This allows the court clerk to re-schedule other cases to fill freed time and keep the courts running smoothly.
Sometimes you have a case that has many problems, is repeatedly adjourned, and never seems to get to court.
If so, give the court clerk the full details so you can plan a solution.
Magistrates would prefer to give you a long adjournment for good reason, than see a case repeatedly appear for adjournment.
If you wish to use TV/video equipment to present evidence, book this through the court clerk.
If your client is in custody
If your client is in custody, interview them before court begins.
This ensures court runs smoothly on the day and prevents security problems.
On the day: At court
Before court begins, give the court clerk a list of your matters and their status.
When you address the court, use names and index numbers to refer to matters. For example, ‘Your Honour, the matter of John Citizen at index number 11. John Citizen is in custody, Your Honour’.
Use the Adjournment Court to have first appearance adjournments disposed of before 10am.
Talk to police prosecutors before court. Conversations at the bar table are unacceptable.
Do not stand near the court clerks’ desk to talk to them or look at files once court has started.