Supreme Court of New South Wales

Preparing for a court appearance

In ​t​​he days leadin​​​​​​g up to your appearance:

  • ​​Check the Court​ Lists to confirm the time and location of ​your hearing. If you are not at the Court on time your case may be dismissed or a default judgment entered in your absence.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Court's sitting locations.

  • Familiarise yourself with a courtroom's standard layout and who sits where​.

  • Understand the Court's security procedures and try to avoid bringing prohibited items with you.

  • Make sure you have at least three copies of all relevant documents to court: one for you, one for the Judge or Registrar and one for every other party.

  • Make sure you have your own paper and stationery.

  • Think about how you will spend any break times on the day. There are no cafes inside any of the Court buildings. However, there are numerous cafes located very close to the Law Courts Building in Queens Square which open early in each morning and remain open for the remainder of the sitting day should you need refreshments.

On the da​y:

  • Be prepared. Be clear about what you want to say and speak slowly and clearly. Wait for your turn to speak and do not interrupt the Judge or other party.

  • You must always conduct yourself courteously in Court. Bow to the Registrar or Judge as you enter and leave the court room, turn off mobile phones and do not eat or drink in court.

  • Address the Judge as "Your Honour" or the Registrar as "Registrar". Stand to speak and sit while the other party speaks. Do not interrupt or talk over the Judge, Registrar or other parties.

  • Pleadings, such as statements of claim, summonses and defences are a part of the Court's record of the proceedings. ​​​​​Other documents on which you wish to rely to support your case, including affidavits, must be handed up as evidence at the hearing. This is called "tendering the evidence". You may not be allowed to use such documents unless you have given them to your opponent well before the hearing in accordance with orders made at a directions hearing.

  • You will have an opportunity to make submissions about your case, the evidence received and the other party's case at the hearing

Last updated:

02 Sep 2023

Was this content useful?
We will use your rating to help improve the site.
Please don't include personal or financial information here
Please don't include personal or financial information here
Top Return to top of page Top