Court Etiquette

Court hearings are generally open to the public, and you are welcome to attend to watch the proceedings.

The courtroom is a formal setting, and your conduct should be polite and respectful to the judges, the parties, their lawyers and court staff. You must not disrupt or interfere with an appeal hearing.

In particular:

  • If the Court is already in session, it is customary, as a matter of respect, to bow when entering and leaving the courtroom.
  • Wear appropriate business-like clothing, including footwear. All hats must be removed.
  • Other than water, food and beverages are not allowed in the courtroom.
  • Members of the public are prohibited from using cameras, tape recorders, video equipment and other electronic devices in Court facilities. Photographs and video recordings are not permitted. Cell phones should be turned off or kept on silent and kept out of sight when court is in session.
  • Lawyers and accredited media members are permitted to use electronic devices in the courtroom in accordance with the Court’s Policy on the Use of Electronic Devices in Courtrooms.
  • Always stand when a judge enters or leaves the courtroom or when speaking to a judge.
  • When speaking to a judge, use the proper form of address: "Justice," "Mr. Justice",  "Madam Justice", “Sir” or “Madam” may be used. “My Lord” and “My Lady” are less common but also appropriate forms of address. If the Chief Justice is sitting, she should be addressed as “Chief Justice”.

Lawyers are required to gown when appearing before a panel of justices at appeal hearings, Panel Applications and bar admissions. Lawyers are not required to gown when appearing before a single appeal judge or at the Sentence Speak to List, Unscheduled Civil Appeals List or Criminal Speak to List.