Any member of the public may attend open court hearings in the Supreme Court or State Courts. These have limited seats and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Hearings conducted using Zoom will be streamed on TV screens in the courtrooms.
View the list of upcoming hearings.
Cases that are conducted in chambers or in camera (Latin for "in private") are not open to the public. These cases include all Family Justice Courts (FJC) proceedings. Only parties involved in the case may attend, unless the court permits.
Hearings in chambers and hearings in camera are not the same.
Before visiting the courts, find out about:
You will need to undergo a security screening before entering the court buildings. This screening is similar to that at airports.
When you enter, you will walk through a metal detector. Your belongings, including all food and drinks, will be screened via X-ray machines.
Examples of items that are not allowed into the court buildings include:
This list of prohibited items is not exhaustive. The security personnel will inform you if you have items that you must deposit at the security counter.
You should be properly attired in business wear, smart casual wear or traditional dress. Examples of appropriate attire include:
Visitors who are dressed in a manner that is indecent or offensive may not be allowed to enter the courthouse, courtroom or chambers. Examples of inappropriate attire includes singlets, shorts and slippers.
Follow these ground rules when attending a court session:
You should not...
Public access to a courtroom is based on first-come, first-seated basis. The courtroom will open 30 minutes before the hearing starts.
For cases of high public interest that are likely to attract a larger than usual turnout, queue poles may be set up outside the State Courts to manage the crowd and facilitate orderliness. There will be a limit to the number of seats allocated to members of the public, as individuals such as prosecutors, defence counsel, court interpreters or family members of the persons charged in court will be given priority.
The State Courts will issue a special pass to members of the public who wish to observe the proceedings. The passes will be issued outside the State Courts on each day of the trial, before the hearing starts. The passes are transferrable.
When all the passes (for the morning or afternoon) are issued, members of the public will be notified that the courtroom is full. There will be no entry into the State Courts until further notice. This is to comply with the occupancy load of the building and the fire safety regulations.