Arriving in court for your criminal trial

On the day of your trial, you should:

  • Always arrive early. If you are late or absent, a warrant of arrest may be issued against you.
  • Find your way to the courtroom or hearing chamber. Refer to the building directory for more information.
  • Confirm your case is scheduled to be heard in the courtroom you are about to enter. Inform the court officer of your presence before entering.
  • Always dress neatly and decently when entering a courthouse and in the courtroom.

What to do at your trial

During the trial, both the prosecution and you will be given enough time and opportunity to present your respective sides of the case. The judge may ask questions to clarify, or get additional facts. This is done so that they have all the information needed to reach a verdict.

You are expected to observe court etiquette at each stage of the court proceedings. You should:

  • Stand up and bow to show respect when the judge enters and leaves the courtroom.
  • Stand when the judge stands or when you speak.
  • Wait patiently for your turn to speak.
  • Address the judge as "Your Honour", the prosecution as "the learned prosecutor" and the witness by their surname, for example "Mr Tan" or "Miss Kamala".
  • Take your own notes and write down what was said. Personally written notes are the only recording medium allowed. If you require pen and paper, you may request for them.
  • Switch off or switch your mobile phone to silent mode when the court is in session.

2021/03/02

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