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Arriving in court for your criminal trial

On the day of your criminal trial, you should:

  • Always arrive early. If you are late or absent without a valid reason, a warrant of arrest may be issued against you.
  • Find your way to the courtroom or the hearing chamber in advance. Refer to the building directory for more information.
  • Confirm your case is heard in the venue you are about to enter. Inform the court officer before entering, if applicable.
  • Dress neatly and decently when attending court. Refer to the visitors' guide for the appropriate dress code.

What to do at your trial

During the trial, both the prosecution and you will be given enough time and opportunity to present your case and evidence. The judge may ask questions to clarify, or obtain information if it assists the court. This is done so that they have all the necessary evidence to come to a decision.

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. If you require pen and paper, you may request for them from the court officer. If you wish to use a laptop to take notes, you need to seek the court's permission to do so.
  • Switch off all mobile devices or activate the silent mode when the court is in session.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more

2021/07/23

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