4 – Justice Journey: The Local Court

so if you read through statement uh yep I think I remember it all but I’m a bit nervous yeah that’s that’s normal remember as the witness you’re there to explain what happened as you saw it all you can talk about is what you know so try to think of you know what you saw what you heard how you felt and what you did okay that helps are any other tips yeah sure when you go into the courtroom might feel a bit awkward remember to listen carefully to the questions that are being asked speak clearly so that the court can hear you properly and if you don’t know the answer to a question just say so if they ask you a question and you need them to real scope don’t be afraid to do so and they’ll rephrase it for you also you know take a couple of deep breaths before you go into the witness box it you know helps to calm the nerves down I think I’m really are what are we on yeah we’re on at ten o’clock today why don’t you go and sit in the public gallery and you can get a feel for what’s happening in the court today okay cases in the local court are heard by a magistrate rather than by a judge and jury the magistrate will determine the matter and may impose a sentence if the accused is found guilty if the case is more serious the magistrate will decide if the case shall be committed to the district for Supreme Court’s to be heard before a judge and possibly a jury this is called committal hearing most likely you won’t be asked to attend a committal hearing but you may choose to go along and see how the court process works and whilst it is possible you might be called to give evidence the committal hearing this is generally not the case remanded in custody thank you given the serious nature of this offense bail is refused and the accused shall remain in custody pending the case being heard in the Supreme Court local courts can be busy crowded places and often feel quite chaotic this outside the courtroom have information about your case and tell you what court to go to multiple cases may be heard in a day and decisions are often made swiftly it can be important to have a support person with you to help you get through the day regardless of which court you’re in the courtroom is a formal place and there are a few rules to obey dress appropriately and in a way that shows respect to the court take off your cap hat or sunglasses sometimes courts can be air-conditioned so it’s a good idea to bring a jacket with you switch off your mobile phone people entering or leaving the courtroom should bow towards a magistrate or judge as a mark of respect for the court some cases will be finalized in the local court and you may be called to give evidence during the hearing process if your case is said to be heard in a higher court then your journey through the criminal justice system will continue on another day the legal process can take a long time and you may have to wait for some months for your next date if your case is finalized this will be the end of your justice journey

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